I found this Post-It in my son Jacob’s room and had to capture it on film. I asked him what you should do if the moment sucks, and he said, “Then live in some other moment.”
A clarion call of a poem today from Mary Oliver about living in other moments, other lives, going down new paths, reaching beyond what you can see. Yes, it really could be this simple.
Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches of other lives —
to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey, hanging
from the branches
of the young locust trees, in early morning, feel like?
Do you think this
world was only an entertainment for you?
Never to enter the sea and
notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the
air as you open your wings over the dark acorn of your heart!
we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from
Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?
can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all
attentive to what presents itself
Who will behold the inner
chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer
Well, there is time left —
fields everywhere invite you into
And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
wherever you are, to look for your soul?
Quickly, then, get up, put on
your coat, leave your desk!
To put one’s foot into the door of the grass,
the mystery, which is death as well as life, and
To set one’s foot in the door of death, and be overcome
To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw,
nodding this way and that
way, to the flowers of the
to the song falling out of the
mockingbird’s pink mouth,
to the tippets of the honeysuckle, that have
in the night
To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and
rustle in the wind!
Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling
it a life?
While the soul, after all, is only a window,
opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little
Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild
deny me not,
but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I
sat among them. Maybe
I even heard a curl or tow of music, damp and rouge
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery
For how long will you continue to listen to those dark
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!
A woman standing
in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves, and what’s coming
is coming with its own heave and grace.
Meanwhile, once in a
while, I have chanced, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
more could one ask?
And I would touch the faces of the daises,
would bow down
to think about it.
That was then, which hasn’t ended
Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean’s edge.
I climb, I
I ramble my way home.
–from West Wind
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