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 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.

(Thank you, Sally for my new favorite poem
that I can't stop mulling over)

girl with a string

there has to be a way.
a tool.
a picture.
something that will help me wrap my mind around this and fix me.

okay, fixing might be a stretch-- maybe refurbish.

i'm on vacation.
I know that sounds fun, but shut up for a minute, okay?
sorry, i'm a bit tense.
because i'm on vacation.
the first thing you should know about our family adventures is that they usually involve an adventure within an adventure...a tiered-adventure, if you will.
my husband flies fast and loose, and is constantly scheming up "fun on top on fun" (and with nary enough underwear packed).
e.g., we go to one place for a night (lake house)...we travel from there to the beach for two nights...we travel back to the lake house for more nights.

have I mentioned that I have hard time with changes in routine?
and that transitions are a real bitch?

"but you're on vacation!  it's fun!"
I thought I said shut up.

okay, actually this trip has been fun so far.
yesterday was my best day because I knew we wouldn't be changing beds for the whole day.  and even though we are in a crappy motel that seems mysteriously and perpetually damp, i'd created a nest.  each person had an "area" for their damp belongings and their damp selves.
and this is how I function best.
in some ways, i'm quite adaptable in that i don't need anything expensive or fancy.  you could give me a meth camper and i'd not complain...just put out the dog's bowls and my toothbrush and hunker down.
but if I have to change from one meth lab to another - or even a Wyndham resort- it's going to be hard on me, and therefore you.
i'd stay in an RV in a gas mask to avoid the transition.
screw Wyndham as long as I don't have to move.

I realized yesterday that I spend my whole life preparing.
and it's exhausting.
preparations are important sometimes.  you need groceries.  you need to study for tests.  you need to wash the laundry so you aren't naked in public.
preparation can be good.

but I spend all my time preparing INSIDE.
for hardly anything that matters.
I spent all of last night tossing and turning trying to visualize how today would go...packing getting to the next place...which bed I'd use when I arrived, which spot my suitcase full of damp shit would reside.

and even not on vacation, I spend a lot of time visualizing how things will go...my library deliveries, my social interactions, my visits with family, my appointments, the small and large parts of my life.

it takes a lot of energy this internal preparing.
and does it work?
not that I can tell.
"hmmm, interesting, Pam; then why do it?"
if i have tell you one more time to quit interrupting...

I know one way that transitions would be easier for me.
I've never met a tense drunk.  maybe I could drink, pass out, my family transport me to the next activity, I wake up, and proceed with life.
I've heard this works for some people.
but i think it's called alcoholism.
I don't need anymore "isms."

but my point is that whatever i'm doing in that phase besides being passed out, all that preparing, really is unnecessary....fretting internally, bitching and moaning externally...we could skip it, you know?

but I don't know how.


lately I've visualized me with a string...like a kite string leading straight up to God.
and if you don't like God, then strap it to something else.
for me, I picture Him holding the string down to me,
me grasping it and looking up.
if I could only look at the string, maybe I wouldn't freak out.
it's held by Someone I trust.
and He says, "It's okay, honey.  don't look ahead.  you only have to hold onto that string.  when you look ahead you get stymied, fretful, somehow super busy and super paralyzed at once, but hey; a string isn't scary, is it?  so just look at it, and i'll get you to the next place...without malt liquor."
(He calls me Honey on my good days.  also sometimes I hear Dumbass, but I think that's when phone lines get crossed.  fairly certain that's not Him).

by the way, the string does not create a God puppet master situation (i feel your concern; i wondered also).  the difference is that we choose to grab on, and can let go at anytime.

this image is helping me.
if i can just live it.
also i might need some science or scripture to prove it, so if you have some...

i'm just here dangling.




 

trampy stampy

 
my comic-friend James Hodge has a hilarious story that he lived and tells about a field trip with a bunch of moms...all the butterflies in all the places were "weathered" and had been over-handled.
 
 

Vacation