The Journey.

Some deep truths from Mary Oliver…

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice-
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stories.
But little by lithe,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do-
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Tonight I watched a segment with Tom Shadyac, who presented the topic of polarity- light/dark, life/death, abundance/loss.  We are taught from the beginning to run from trouble, disaster, danger, disturbance-  but in reality, this is the heart of all growth, of all of life.  It's what makes us better artists, better poets, better writers, better humans. How can we understand abundance if we have not experienced loss? How can we fully grasp the beauty of trust if we haven't first tasted the sting of dishonesty? Mary Oliver shared with Tom Shadyac that her poem "The Journey" was birthed from one of her most darkest and painful experiences. And yet, out of such a dark seed bloomed one of her most famous poems. It's true, all of life, with all of its duality, is a living and breathing art form in one way or another.