Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Musings: Nerd Alert

Photo taken on PCH by my husband.
I interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you some literary inspiration. Last night I was coming down off a terrific, beautiful weekend. And, it seems, that those terrific and beautiful moments lend themselves to a light dose of depression when you return home from the sea, and sand, and feeling of being happy and away from all the world. I was thinking that the apartment seemed lonely and cold, and the stresses of everyday life were lurking around every unvacuumed corner and dusty lamp. I did a very nerdy thing to remedy this feeling. I climbed into bed with a book of poems. Yes, this is why I warned you that the nerd was making an appearance. I was gifted a beautiful book called She Walks in Beauty, and I was flipping through it when I came to a poem that I was already familiar with, but that always moves me because I think the sentiment is perfection. So, I decided to share it with you on the off chance that anyone else is having the kind of day when you just need a poem to soothe your soul. After all, Wallace Stevens said that reason poetry exists is to "help people live their life." I attempt to help you live your life.

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 that you could save.

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