Monday, April 21, 2008

Inspiration: Wild Geese

I am in a place right now where I just want to soak up all the beauty and joy and love that is in the world. And so, with that in mind, this week I'd like to take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to share some truly beautiful and moving words with you, the kind of words that inspire me to want both to write and to spread my wings and fly.

When I got out Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and Revelation this afternoon, the book fell open to a poem that brings tears to my eyes almost every time I hear its first line. Mary Oliver's words move me tangibly--I can feel them more than I can hear them even, vibrating within my being. I hope you find them inspirational too.

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Photo: "Wild Geese," originally uploaded by John Wigham

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