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 your 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.
I’ve been trying to lose myself, or is it actually better described as, trying to find myself, in the beautiful words of Mary Oliver in her poem Wild Geese.
It draws me into the essence, of what has been at the heart of my struggle, which is to be able to accept myself for who and what I am, not to repent of it but in the beautiful words of Mary Oliver to “love what it loves”
It draws me into the invitation of the world, to claim my legitimate place within it, as who I am, not who I have been expected to be by those who have claimed a right over me, and even harder still, from my own conditioning of self, which won’t allow me to break free.
It draws me to the suffering of others, and allows me to contemplate that my struggle has parallels in all living things in the world, whoever we are.
It draws me to this concept of huge physical space, in which my emotional life can flourish, so that across the landscape of the world to the sky above and the deep waters below, I can bring myself, and my truth, as an equal part of all the wonders of creation.
It draws me to my spiritual life, my faith now seen as a liberator, no longer a tormentor – my faith has not undertaken a change but my attitude to its as a harsh judge – an unjust judge and unfair judge has been swept away through my tears to a connection that God loves me in the fullness of my truth, and nothing can change that now or ever.
It draws me to freedom – the freedom of the Wild Geese soaring above calling out to the world and each other – I have lived a life of serious inhibition of freedom to thrive because of the hurt, the fear, the anguish and the immense emotional struggle which has held me back – no more will it be like that for me.
My next blog will be: Condensation