Day 33, To See What We Can See: Wild Geese


Dear Friends,

Are you familiar with my favorite (at least this year!) poet, Mary Oliver?  Her poem Wild Geese changed my life many years ago, and it continues to be one of my all time favorites.

Today I’d like you to write out this poem in your journal, perhaps painting a simple background first.  If you have a little more time, ponder or journal your reactions to the poem.  What do you think of that first line?  What has been, or is, your despair? What do you think of when you see the geese flying overhead?

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.

With love,


Day 33  of a series of daily prompts for written, visual, or art journalling, or just for pondering.  For more background information, see the Intro page, or this post on visual journalling:

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