A happy and unexpected outcome of my participation on the MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) teacher training course is engaging with poetry once more. Something I haven’t really done since my days studying A Level English Literature.
During the last session I was introduced to this poem below by Mary Oliver. As it was read to me I had a real sense of acceptance and perspective.
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.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this poem.