The journey

“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 stones.
but little by little,
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.”

~ Mary Oliver


15 thoughts on “The journey

  1. Reblogged this on Waiting for the Karma Truck and commented:
    I love Mary Oliver – and I am grateful to Bill for posting this. As for who I thought of when I read this? All of us at different times in our lives. There is only one voice that should serve as the clarion call – your own. Have a great Monday all.

  2. Reblogged this on Teacher as Transformer and commented:
    I can never pass up an opportunity to pass on Mary Oliver and her words of wisdom. She is a beautiful soul and poet. Her wisdom ad advice are always right on. At the end of the day, I can only save myself, but perhaps my example in this manner helps others.

  3. Hello, I do not always have the time to say hello, but thought I would today. I never cease to be amazed at what you post. I don’t know whether you have a vast collection or you simply find them on a daily basis. Whichever it is – you often make my day.
    This poem today is fantastic and your posts a treasure of the most inspirational writings and photos.
    Thanks …….

    1. Hi Elizabeth, It is a daily exercise for me. I started my blog as an attempt to post daily affirmations for myself and it has grown beyond my original expectations. As an avid reader I search for the right words, pictures and sometimes a song to capture what I am feeling. I feel that if it resonates with me it can be shared with others. Some days it works better than others, but it gives me a thought to hang onto for that day.

      I am an organizational psychologist and work in the largest comprehensive cancer center in the United States and see people, both patients and employees, struggling everyday to fight for finding a cure for cancer. Many times it is only hope and determination that they have left. Many of the physicians and scientist who have dedicated their lives to this academic medical center pursuit find a glimmer of a cure that can impact thousands. Those are truly miracles.

      Thanks again for the kind words. Take care and be well, Bill

      1. Thanks for the chat and providing an insight into your work and daily life – and also your blog which I find ‘pure’ inspiration (not conflicted with personal accounts so one is able to ponder the message in its pure form).

        I have great admiration for those who work with cancer patients having had my son suffer cancer in his early twenties (he is OK now) so I know how dedicated the clinical staff can be and how the patients are hanging on to hope everyday. Incidentally twice (four years apart) he contacted experts in the US for advice and both times, the doctors themselves personally replied to his queries rather than their secretaries. Both times we were amazed at this response and dedication to providing an answer to someone so far away and not their patient.

        Thanks again and have a great day.

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