Monday, November 1, 2010

Excerpt from Mary Oliver's "Evidence"


Where do I live? If I had no address, as many people do not, I could nevertheless say that I lived in the same town as the lilies of the field, and the sill waters.


I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.

As for the body, it is solid and strong and curious and full of detail; it wants to polish itself; it wants to love another body; it is the only vessel in the world that can hold, in a mix of power and sweetness: words, song, gesture, passion, ideas, ingenuity, devotion, merriment, vanity, and virtue.

Keep room in your heart for the unimaginable.


There are many ways to perish, or to flourish.

How old pain, for example, can stall us at the threshold of function.


Still friends, consider stone, that is without the fret of gravity, and water that is without anxiety.

And the pine trees that never forget their recipe for renewal.

And the female wood duck who is looking this way and that way for her children. And the snapping turtle who is looking this way and that way also. This is the world.

And consider, always, every day, the determination of the grass to grow despite the unending obstacles.


I ask you again: if you have not been enchanted by this adventure--your life--what would do for you?

And, where are you, with your ears bagged down as if with packets of sand? Listen. We all have much more listening to do. Tear the sand away. And listen. The river is singing.


1 comment:

  1. I wake and spend
    the last hours
    of darkness
    with no one

    but the moon.
    She listens
    to my complaints
    like the good

    companion she is
    and comforts me surely
    with her light.
    But she, like everyone,

    has her own life.
    So finally I understand
    that she has turned away,
    is no longer listening.

    She wants me
    to refold myself
    into my own life.
    And, bending close,

    as we all dream of doing,
    she rows with her white arms
    through the dark water
    which she adores