a wandering woman writes

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The journey

Photo by my brother Hal, in 2001, back before I'd slowed down enough to do things like get up at 5 every day to watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon.

I said a while back I wanted to post another Mary Oliver poem; I so love how this woman writes. Those of you who knew me before this blog will see why this poem so resonates with me. I haven't been a quick traveler, but oh, I recognize this feeling:

The Journey
by Mary Oliver

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.



  • I just love Mary Oliver! Thank you for posting this lovely poem!

    By Blogger Terri, at 6:15 PM  

  • My God, this is soooo relevant. Been a while since I have read this one. Think I'll put it up at my blog as well. Not sure too many of us can read it!
    If I haven't told you lately, I love you.

    By Blogger Laura Young, at 11:46 PM  

  • Grinning, Laura. Love you, too.

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 10:55 PM  

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