Can you stand one last (for now) Mary Oliver poem? I’ve gotten on a roll, and gotta roll it out!
The image from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run With the Wolves of singing over the bones, singing flesh onto what seems dead, bringing life again, resonates deeply with me. That’s why when I was gifted this poem from a friend, I immediately grew to love it.
Again today, either write out this poem onto a beautiful background you’ve already made in your journal, or write or image your response to the poem.
Understand, I am always trying to figure out
what the soul is,
and where hidden,
and what shape —
and so, last week,
when I found on the beach
the ear bone
of a pilot whale that may have died
hundreds of years ago, I thought
maybe I was close
to discovering something —
for the ear bone
is the portion that lasts longest
in any of us, man or whale; shaped
like a squat spoon
with a pink scoop where
once, in the lively swimmer’s head,
it joined its two sisters
in the house of hearing,
it was only
two inches long—
and I thought: the soul
might be like this—
so hard, so necessary—
yet almost nothing.
the gray sea
was opening and shutting its wave-doors,
unfolding over and over
its time-ridiculing roar;
I looked but I couldn’t see anything
through its dark-knit glare;
yet don’t we all know, the golden sand
is there at the bottom,
though our eyes have never seen it,
nor can our hands ever catch it
lest we would sift it down
into fractions, and facts—
and what the soul is, also
I believe I will never quite know.
Though I play at the edges of knowing,
truly I know
our part is not knowing,
but looking, and touching, and loving,
which is the way I walked on,
through the pale-pink morning light.
—Mary Oliver New and Selected Poem, Volume Two.
Day 35 of a series of daily prompts for written, visual, or art journalling, or just for pondering. For more background information, see the Intro pagehttps://catcharissage.com/2014/10/29/announcing-sixty-days-of-visual-journalling-prompts/, or this post on visual journalling: https://catcharissage.com/2014/07/12/talking-about-journals/.