Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mary Oliver 1935-2019


 Wild Geese



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

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The Summer Day 






Who made the world? 


Who made the swan, and the black bear? 


Who made the grasshopper? 


This grasshopper, I mean-- 


the one who has flung herself out of the grass,


the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, 


who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-- 


who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. 


Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. 


Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. 


I don't know exactly what a prayer is. 


I do know how to pay attention,

how to fall down 
into the grass,

how to kneel in the grass, 


how to be idle and blessed,

how to stroll through the fields, 


which is what I have been doing all day.


Tell me, what else should I have done? 


Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? 


Tell me, what is it you plan to do 


With your one wild and precious life? 




When Death Comes
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.


The Gift

Be still, my soul, and steadfast.
Earth and heaven both are still watching
though time is draining from the clock
and your walk, that was confident and quick,
has become slow.

So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part.
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
know you are grateful. That the gift has been given.



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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Contemplative Retreat at St. Clare's


I had a chance to go on retreat for Contemplative Prayer, which focus was a method on the Jesus prayer, clearing you mind of all distractions except the openness to Christ.


This Jesus looks very sexy. He is shirtless, with a face from a model from GQ. Just goes to show where you can find God.


Sunday, January 6, 2019