Monday, March 22, 2010

The Journey

My thanks to Chris Guillebeau for sharing this poem in his blog. I am sharing it here, though it seems I am copying his blog entry this week, because its message so totally speaks to what I am thinking about these days that it seems heaven sent. It is by Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets:
The Journey

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 have been going over the lines in the poem quite a bit. The fact that I can completely see myself in each of these lines gives me comfort, tells me I am on the right track. Though the path is parlous, the risks are the price that must be paid if you want to have any chance at your own life.

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