Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver (Sept 10, 1935 – Jan 17, 2019) has written so many beautiful words that have deeply touched my life. Just learned that she has died. I feel so emotional, like a dear friend, soul mate has departed. She inspired me to blog. Her words helped me during times when I desperately needed inspiration, faith to just get through. Her poems help me feel less afraid, more brave to be authentic, to live with curiosity. There are teachers who come into our lives and help us remember who we are. She has been this for me. Thank you Mary Oliver for sharing your essence, your view of the world with such elegance, simplicity and beauty. Rest in peace.

A few of my favorites:

Poem Of The One World

This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to

where everything
sooner or later
is a part of everything else

which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite beautiful myself.

Praying

“It doesn’t have to be blue iris, it can be weeds in a vacant lot.

Just pay attention, then patch a few words together and don’t try to make them elaborate.

This isn’t a contest but the doorway into thanks. A silence in which another voice may speak.”

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Wild Geese

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.

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Heavy

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had his hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry

but how you carry it –
books, bricks, grief –
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled –
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

Advertisements

Hallow this life

A lengthier personal narrative on the meaning for me of the prophetic words below will follow in a future post. 2 greats…Rupert Spira and Martin Buber.
Teachers light the way for others on the journey. I too sense there is a beauty, stirring for expression. Something to write perhaps? It warms me to know that Consciousness Itself moves in and through each of us, wanting only to experience the world in this very way, this moment. Here. Now. This play of energy, its dance. I’m invited to the dance. You’re invited to the dance. No one is forgotten. Say yes. Listen and trust its Reality. “If you hallow this life, you meet the living God.”

“I forget Myself to taste the sweetness
of longing
I divide Myself to know the tenderness
of friendship
I hide Myself for the pleasure
of seeking
I look for Myself for the fulfillment
of finding
I find Myself for the knowledge
of happiness
I know Myself for the joy
of being”

-Rupert Spira

“Creation is not a hurdle on the road to God,
it is the road itself.
We are created along with one another
and directed to a life with one another.
Creatures are placed in my way so that I,
their fellow-creature,
by means of them
and with them find the way to God.
A God reached by their exclusion
would not be the God of all lives,
in Whom all life is fulfilled…
To look away from the world,
or to stare at it,
does not help man to reach God;
but he who see the world in Him,
stands in His presence…
If you hallow this life,
you meet the living God.”

-Martin Buber

10 Commandments

1. Be authentic. Take your stand in the truth as best you know it today, without hesitation or fear of judgment. Consider eccentricity a reflection of authenticity.

2. Sexual pleasure and desire are our birthright. Allow yourself to have consensual sex often, with whom you’d like and as creatively as you desire.

3. We are all “becoming” and our being is an intimate, creative dance with God. Recognize yourself and others as images of the Divine.

4. Express love and gratitude for beloved teachers who are present in your life and ones who are no longer here in human form. The Universe has helped you find one another.

5. Your heart knows things your mind cannot always explain. Trust in synchronicity.

6. Live a simple lifestyle. Give to your parents, children, neighbors, friends less quantity and more quality, less entertainment and more loving interaction, less overwhelm and more joy.

7. Remember who you are. You are That which knows all experience. Do not seek after what you yearn for; seek the source of the yearning Itself. You are this already.

8. Forget with generosity, those who cannot love you.

9. Have your feelings, all of them in your own way. And allow others to have theirs, without any need to change or manipulate them.

10. Stay curious. Be patient with all that is unknown. Delight in the mystery of formless Love that is ever present and everywhere.

As a member of the Unitarian Universalist church in Westport, CT, I have been attending a class called “Building Your Own Theology”. We were each invited to consider our 10 Commandments or “10 Suggestions” which is more fittingly Unitarian! What an interesting experience…Hope readers will enjoy this and be inspired to consider your top ten!

The Laughing Heart

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Charles Bukowski, “The Laughing Heart”

This is a charming and heart warming poem; a short story inviting us to dedicate ourselves to recognizing our Light and seeing the Light in every person and experience. Light has no boundaries in the spiritual relationship. There is only one I AM and that I AM is universal and individually manifest. There is only one You, each made in the image and likeness of our Creator.

To reflect back the Light in one another, is our higher purpose. When our light is seen and recognized, there’s a little more of it available to us. There is no power to prevent God’s grace from reaching us in the light or the shadow.

Every bit of love that we express is a love that is expressed to us. I am you and you are me. The “light of pure knowing” (Spira) helps us see our true identity and recognizing our true identity is the recognition of the nature of Consciousness. There is but one Life and we are living that Life. This is the truth that makes us free.

Sun light, moon light. Light waves, light travelers. Light seekers, light seers…live in the Light, be a Light in the world, in places of darkness too.

“We came spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust. When life became Love, we reached our destination”. – Rumi

Widow’s Lament in Springtime

The Widow’s Lament in Springtime
BY WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS

Sorrow is my own yard
where the new grass
flames as it has flamed
often before, but not
with the cold fire
that closes round me this year.
Thirty-five years
I lived with my husband.
The plum tree is white today
with masses of flowers.
Masses of flowers
load the cherry branches
and color some bushes
yellow and some red,
but the grief in my heart
is stronger than they,
for though they were my joy
formerly, today I notice them
and turn away forgetting.
Today my son told me
that in the meadows,
at the edge of the heavy woods
in the distance, he saw
trees of white flowers.
I feel that I would like
to go there
and fall into those flowers
and sink into the marsh near them.

(Note: My thanks to brettgorvy@Instagram)

When i die I want your hands on my eyes

Pablo Neruda: When I die I want your hands on my eyes

When I die I want your hands on my eyes:

I want the light and the wheat of your beloved hands

to pass their freshness over me one more time

to feel the smoothness that changed my destiny.

I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep,

I want for your ears to go on hearing the wind,

for you to smell the sea that we loved together

and for you to go on walking the sand where we walked.

I want for what I love to go on living

and as for you I loved you and sang you above everything,

for that, go on flowering, flowery one,

so that you reach all that my love orders for you,

so that my shadow passes through your hair,

so that they know by this the reason for my song.


–Pablo Neruda, Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada. Cien Sonetos de Amor. Plaza y Janés. Ave Fénix 205-2. Sexta edición, junio 1998.