A few days ago, I suggested to a friend that he videoblog a poem he had shared online. Like so often in life, my advice was really for me.
This poem has come to me several times of late. A dear friend visited a few weeks ago. In conversation, she asked if I knew the poem ‘Wild Geese’ by Mary Oliver. I had read the poem several years ago where it is included in the course work of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. I am also seeing a therapist and at our last meeting, she asked if I knew the poem.
I find the words of this poem incredibly beautiful and nourishing. It reminds me that I am a part of this world and that all of me, even the bits I don’t like or others disapprove of, are part of this world and they have a place here.
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.