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You do not have to walk on your knees

I wrote a long post, but it felt too personal, so I just saved it in my drafts to revisit another day. I've had a lot of migraines this past week, including today. It's caused me to get really personal with myself, dissecting my life, where I am, who I am, where I want to go, who I want to be. I won't get into it, because that's what that draft is for. But I wanted to leave something else instead. A poem by Mary Oliver. A poem she might have written just for me...


“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

in the family of things.”

Mary Oliver


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