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.

-Mary Oliver

This passage was a true gift to me today while I’m embarking on my own exciting journey, saving my own life. Freeing myself. I hope it encourages, inspires, and helps to heal some of you today, too! 

6 thoughts on “The Journey

  1. I just looked up and was reading about Mary Oliver. She sounds like she was a very respected poet and writer. I had never heard of her … my poetry knowledge is pretty sparse.

    Nevertheless…its a good bit of writing on taking care of the self nod nods

    • Mine is too, I was so happy my aunt introduced me to her writing. After posting this, my mother-in-law told me she LOVES Mary Oliver and has several of her books she will lend me. Score!

      I agree, I’m all about reinforcing taking care of the self. Sometimes that can be the hardest thing to do.

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