"Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver
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 your 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.
When I was mentally creating my post with the vid of the pebble toad and thoughts about the armor of joyful exertion, I had another simple revelation. Listening to Pema Chodron while I was walking through the cemetery (yes, this is my jam), I heard her say something like, "what do you do when you're in a funk?" Seconds later, I saw a huge headstone with just the name, "FUNK," all caps. And this word keeps getting stuck in my head. FUNK. The truth of feeling low, how it happens to everyone. Sometimes because of great loss, sometimes for no damn good reason at all. And then, how very very close is the word: FUNKY. Which, in my mind anyway, is a great word. Funky is dancing, and not caring how it looks. Funky is getting DOWN—not being down. And I love the fact that at any moment, we CAN choose to change our funk to funky, if we fully accept them both as part of who we are.
Click the image above to listen to Lee Dorsey sing today's theme music by Allen Toussaint.
And dance, dammit!
I'm grateful for the darkness.
Today in the U.S., we inched forward with record-breaking representation of women and minorities in our midterm elections. Today is also the Hindu holiday of Diwali—a festival of lights—a symbolic victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance. The evening is closing in extra-early here in the Pacific Northwest November, and tonight is the night of a new moon. Sometimes we need the darkest nights to see the stars that are already there, or the fireworks of our own making.
One day the sun admitted,
Traveler. Baker. Beauty Seeker. Hiker. Paper Ephemera Collector. Sharpie Lover. Etch-A-Sketch Artist. Mondegreen (Misheard Lyric) Connoisseur. Public Space Ninja. Nickname Giver.