Sunday, October 14, 2012

Out of darkness.

I think of this poem by Mary Oliver just about every time I see or hear geese flying overheard. 
"Wild Geese"
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 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,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
I think of this song sometimes when it's stopped raining. Or when I am in the big, blond, bright group exercise room at the gym, because that is where I first heard it, of all places, during the cool-down portion of a class.

I'd love to say that out of the ceiling-to-floor gym exercise room windows I saw a V of geese flying overheard as I heard it, but that would just be me trying to make a moment out of two separate moments.

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