Note to Self:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Five Quotes from Mary Oliver

Photo credit: Josh Reynolds

I have to admit that I was not familiar with the poems of Mary Oliver before this morning. I am currently reading the book, Falling-Upward: Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, by Richard Rohr, when I came across this quote that he had sited: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? The quote is actually the last line in her poem, The Summer Day. Anyhow, it moved me when I first read it as it does still, so I thought I'd share it with a few of her quotes.


"I have a notion that if you are going to be spiritually curious, you better not get cluttered up with too many material things."

"Poetry isn't a profession, it's a way of life. It's an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that."

"So this is how you swim inward. So this is how you flow outwards. So this is how you pray."

"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."

"When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms."

The Summer Day
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?


To read more in the five quote series, click here.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't read much in the way of poetry* (maybe I should be?),but I found her words to be both simplicity as profound at the same time...nice. Thanks for sharing that :)

The Disabled Cyclist

*Unless you counthe Biblical books of Psalms,Proverbs ,and Song of Solomon :p