Monthly Archives

January 2019

Hurricane

By | Poetry | No Comments

It didn’t behave
like anything you had
ever imagined. The wind
tore at the trees, the rain
fell for days slant and hard.
The back of the hand
to everything. I watched
the trees bow and their leaves fall
and crawl back into the earth.
As though, that was that.
This was one hurricane
I lived through, the other one
was of a different sort, and
lasted longer. Then
I felt my own leaves giving up and
falling. The back of the hand to
everything.
 But listen now to what happened
to the actual trees;
toward the end of that summer they
pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.
It was the wrong season, yes,
but they couldn’t stop. They
looked like telephone poles and didn’t
care. And after the leaves came
blossoms. For some things
there are no wrong seasons.
Which is what I dream of for me.

Mary Oliver,  A Thousand Mornings.

Maker of All Things Even Healings

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(a portion of Mary Oliver’s poem)

Maker of All Things,
including appetite,
including stealth,
including the fear that makes
all of us, sometime or other,
flee for the sake
of our small and precious lives,
let me abide in your shadow –
let me hold on
to the edge of your robe
as you determine
what you must let be lost
and what will be saved.

(From her Redbird collection)

Don’t Worry

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

With such rich memories of the poet Mary Oliver, who died this past week at 83, I am going to post some of her poems which have spoken to me.

Here’s one

Don’t Worry
Things take the time they take. Don’t worry.

How many roads did St. Augustine follow before he became St. Augustine?

Mary Oliver, in  Felicity

Goodbye, Mary Oliver

By | Reflections and Readings | No Comments

I lost a friend this week, a good friend, a friend I never met.

Poet Mary Oliver, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, but more important winner of many hearts, died at 83 in her Hobe Sound, Florida home.

I call her a good because from her poetry I knew her and was quite sure she knew me.
How often I have quoted these three lines from her Sometimes (in Red Bird)

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

And how many mornings have one of her poems wakened me to pay attention – to nature around, to my own heart, to the Spirit of God.

When I was writing my book The Attentive Life  I would often recall that she said, “I don’t know much about prayer, but I do know how to pay attention.” And from many of her poems it was clear her prayers were attention!

I would say “Goodbye, Mary Oliver,” except I don’t think she is that far away!

Leighton

Gratitude

By | Food for thought | No Comments

This short talk on gratitude by Curtis Almquist really spoke to me … for today  day and for this year and for this time of my life.  It is really good and really worth taking the time to listen to. You will be blessed I think as I have been. It helps me to be more a  grateful person today.

Listen Here

America’s New Religion

By | Food for thought | No Comments

I highly recommend a recent piece in New York Magazine by Andrew Sullivan.

Everyone has a religion. It is, in fact, impossible not to have a religion if you are a human being. It’s in our genes and has expressed itself in every culture, in every age, including our own secularized husk of a society.

By religion, I mean something quite specific: a practice not a theory; a way of life that gives meaning, a meaning that cannot really be defended without recourse to some transcendent value, undying “Truth” or God (or gods).