Special poetry

For the last year or so, it seems everywhere I look I find this poem. Not the poem itself, of course, but its meaning.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how the key to life is acceptance. Maybe more importantly, how the key to suffering is dwelling upon all the ways that life isn’t what I believe it should be.  There is no greater self-destructive waste of time than non-acceptance.

Yesterday I went on a walk with my lovely daughter. The weather, the scenery, and the company were perfect. I took some pictures and thought of this poem.

Letting go. Was that one of my three words this year? Yes, I know that’s two words. Don’t bicker. It should have been. This year, maybe my whole life. So much is begging for release.

“In Blackwater Woods” by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees2014-10-13 17.40.18-1
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

“In Blackwater Woods” by Mary Oliver, from American Primitive. © Back Bay Books, 1983.

2 thoughts on “Special poetry”

  1. dear Katie,

    I could not have had a more well-timed prompt to reinforce what I have been thinking of in this phase of grieving for the loss of my Beloved, Hugh. the poem is beautiful and reminds us that though there are no promises to be kept in this life, the life all around us will always provide hope and beauty and the colors, sights, sounds, and tastes of what it means to just be. I love Mary Oliver’s poems; she always gives me such comfort and the courage to believe that the universe is on our side. thank you for your beautiful and heart felt observations, so eloquent, so lovingly shared. your sweet Daughter is so fortunate to have you for her Mother.

    much love,

    Karen OOxxOO

Comments are closed.