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On the passing of Mary Oliver

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2017)
Caminho Português (2018)

I'm not sure that this is entirly pertinent to the Forum. The Mods should feel free to delete as they see fit. The Pulizer prize winning poet Mary Oliver passed away on the 17.01.2019. She wrote a poem called 'The Journey' which I think epitomizes much of the reasoning behind the call of the Camino​

The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Here is Mary reading 'The Journey'
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2017)
Caminho Português (2018)
Also a member of her fan club. I love her lines -
'Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?'
Yes Levi it's a beutiful line . Here the full poem.

The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
—Mary Oliver
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
I've been a big fan of Mary Oliver for at least 2 decades. The 2 poems above are among my very favorites.

Here's another:

Praying

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
 

Etty_S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Frances (2007)
Future: Via de la Plata (2019)
What a gift and treasure she has been for so many of us. Her poem 'Patience' has been an inspiration for me, reminding me to heed the slowing down of my body...

Patience
Mary Oliver

What is the good life now? Why,
look here, consider
the moon’s white crescent
rounding, slowly, over the half month to still another
perfect circle —
the shining eye
that lightens the hills,
that lays down the shadows
of the branches of the trees,
the summons the flowers
to open their sleepy faces and look up
into the heavens.
I used to hurry everywhere,
and leaped over the running creaks.
There wasn’t
time enough for all the wonderful things
I could think of to do
in a single day. Patience
comes to the bones
before it takes root in the heart
as another good idea.
I say this
as I stand in the woods
and study the patterns
of the moon shadows,
or stroll down into the waters
that now, late summer, have also
caught the fever, and hardly move
from one eternity to another.​
 

libranlady1

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
walk last 100 klm in august 2013
Thanks to all for these wonderful poems that resonate so fully with what my soul feels. I had no idea who Claire Oliver was but am now a mad fan.
 

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