Mary Oliver

Paying attention

"Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it."
-Mary Oliver

I first encountered Mary's writing while on personal retreat in a peaceful setting. I was touched by her honest, lusciously descriptive and achingly human way of putting words together. Tender tenacity comes to mind.

I have been tuning into my own capacity to notice the world around me- little details that strike me as beautiful.  The fading of a wild flower that gives way to seed; how much I enjoy the first juicy bite of watermelon; the moments of twilight when softness falls across the landscape; the sound of my laughter when I realize I am being ridiculous about something. Noticing is where I am invited into a more regular flow of awareness, a stream of consciousness that moves with and responds to my day.

What is making you feel astonished these days? 

 Will you soften just a little bit in order to welcome surprise in your days?  

 - KD

A Poetry favourite

Mary Oliver is a beloved poet of mine. I discovered her writing while on a personal retreat, and it was a drink of water to my spirits. Delicious. I so enjoy the way she crafts words with a surprise twist here & there, and how her images enliven the senses...

Philips' Birthday

I gave,
to a friend that I care for deeply,
something that I loved.
It was only a small

extremely shapely bone
that came from the ear
of a whale.
It hurt a little

to give it away.
The next morning
I went out, as usual,
at sunrise,

and there, in the harbour,
was a swan.
I don't know what he or she was doing there,

but the beauty of it
was gift.
Do you see what I mean?
You give, and you are given. 

-Mary Oliver, Evidence