you do not have to be good.

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

I have a pen pal. She was the first to introduce me to Mary Oliver. I don't know how to explain it but writing to her has filled a void that even this online journal couldn't and can't. Her letters are something I cherish. And sometimes I think it's because I can hold them in my hand. The web is powerful. Blogs are powerful. But sometimes the physical is the right kind of powerful. She has a lovely blog (which is how we found each other in the first place, so how could I not be grateful for this technology?) you can read it here m.m.voisin. But since we started writing, we don't read eachother's blogs. And somehow, that is really nice.


  1. That poem. I can't quite say how nice that was to read it. It's so lovely.

    Also, I love the idea of a blog pen pal...interesting. I have a 9-year-old boy pen pal right now and he tells me good jokes, but he probably doesn't know about Mary Oliver! Ha.

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