Wednesday, April 5

The untrimmable light of the world

This is why I do what I do ... because I cannot leave it undone, because I am compelled by something in my heart and soul to listen, look, learn.

Then to take some action to protect and preserve what I have witnessed. To share what I have learned whether joyful or despairing.

One of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver (actually she's probably my very favorite writer and poet I've ever known) expresses better than I can, this feeling in her poem, Mindful.


Every day
I see or I hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It is what I was born for –
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world –
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant –
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentation.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these –
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

-- written by Mary Oliver
from Why I Wake Early