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 don’t actually read much poetry but I find hearing others’ experiences in this form helpful and thought provoking…I tend towards poetry not about earthy nature but the nature of the inner workings of human experience expressed via earthy parallels.

“all men by nature desire to know.” Aristotle

For me the type of knowing that pulls on me the most involves understanding how and who we are and how that shapes are relationships and our living and how we might move with more depth and love and understanding the things that hinder that. I think we each have a drive to know but what it is we want to know differs with each of us. I have had intimates who needed to know the beast and birds of the field, others who needed to understand their past and how to heal from it, others who sought the next best sale, those who sought the internal workings of the computer…

My desk is clear. Box business sorted out, fall syllabus and projects ready to be reviewed and refined, xxx,xxx worth of legal paperwork filed away (perhaps fodder for a memoir or two…but not on this rainy day and not to come out of anger or hurt). It is time to move forward, stepping away from shut doors that are not to be returned to. It is time to let go of grief. It is time.