I don’t have all the words I need sometimes, to comfort or soothe myself or others when things are rough, when I’m in pain or they’re in pain, so I turn to others who have spoken the words I need. We were just talking about Mary Oliver, after Julie so delightfully expressed some of her words. Mary Oliver has written a poem that is a salve when my soul is wounded…it was a gift to me from a friend when I was 24, and dealing with the pains of becoming an adult. I want to share it with you all here, as a gift from Mary, and from me, as a soul salve.
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.
Cuore Della Luna