Friday, January 6, 2012

Meanwhile the World Goes On...

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.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver 
published by Atlantic Monthly Press
© Mary Oliver

I really love this. I love the image of the geese that was paired with it on Faith-Promoting Rumor, where I found it. I love the permission to get off your knees and out of the desert. I love the reminder that the world goes on, even if you fail at being "good" every single day of your life. The world goes on. Your life goes on. And you will be okay--you can be happy and peaceful and kind and enlightened--even if your entire focus, your every thought, is not devoted to following rules.

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