Oct 3 – Wild Geese, Mary Oliver

Friday October 3 — “the world offers itself to your imagination”

I missed Wednesday’s list-post. Some good, strong listening Tuesday in the Santa Clara Valley among Advisory Board members for the Center for Science, Technology and Society. Then a Red Eye back home, a morning nap and plenty of ordinary work from then until now. Friday feels fresh, gusty rain and an embarassing Tigers blow-out notwithstanding. It’s the first week when driving around the city, flashes of color & early fallen leaves blowing stop me in my tracks. You too I bet.

There are 1612 people on this list as of yesterday from UDM and around the rest of the world; we human beings carry our burdens, are surprised by beauty, and sometimes get cranky. Autumn’s wild geese, the poet reminds us, have a thing or two to tell us, pointing us to our place in the family of things. “The world offers itself to your imagination.”

Have a great weekend.

john sj

Today’s Post

Best to read the poem out loud and then breathe slowly for a little while.

Wild Geese

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.


You can listen to Mary O read her poem at this link but you’ll have to put up with an ad for 15 seconds or so:  some new action shoot-em-up thriller while I waited for Mary’s voice this morning.   Even with the ad, it’s worth it.


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