Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
- Mary Oliver


  1. Mary Oliver, whom I discovered 30 years ago and never stopped reading, and Str Wendy with her pictures--I'll miss them for their passion, compassion, and intelligence about the earth and what its beings do. Amen.

    1. Me too, James. I loved both of them.

      Mary had been living in Florida the last few years. I knew she was nearby, but was never quite sure where she lived until today. It turns out that I passed by where she lived quite often. I think if I had known, I might have worked up the courage to knock on her door. She lived in a little house, built in 1925, in a very simple neighborhood in Hobe Sound. I know the neighborhood.

      As for Sr. Wendy, well she was in a class all her own. Eccentricity and authenticity that can only come from a very deep spirit.

      If there are people like this in my world, I know that that things are ok.


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