The Unmistakeable Wisdom of Mary Oliver
You need tools for change? Or tools for anything? Or comforting words? Turn to Mary Oliver. She is one of the wisest women I know.
Mary Oliver writes for the soul in us. She writes prose. She writes poetry. She even writes about how to write. She’s everything, all in one.
She writes the best bedtime stories. I have her on my nightstand. In thirty seconds, or a minute or two or three, I read a poem of hers, and I am off to a blissful slumber. In those moments, my day fades, no matter what it has been.
Mary Oliver lifts me up. Calms me down. Her words make me smile. Her poetry moves me into my heart if I have forgotten for a moment to be there.
From West Wind (Part 2)
You are young. So you know everything. You leap
into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me.
Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without
any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me.
Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and
your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to
me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent
penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a
dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile
away and still out of sight, the churn of the water
as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the
sharp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable
pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth
and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls
plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life
~ Mary Oliver ~