A Poem

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.

~Mary Oliver

I have been taking a walk on my morning break, part of this new Weight Watchers thing, heading out of the office and through the town for 15 minutes of brisk walking. Every day I walk a little faster, a little further, and I swear sometimes I can hear my fat cells screaming at me in protest as they are slowly being eradicated. “Take THAT!” I say as I stride along, laughing maniacally all the while. It is a small thing, but a definite beginning.

This morning it is really cold and windy, and I felt very much alone, yet also part of something. I have this one life, and I am trying so hard to live it well, and all around me are people going about their daily lives-going to work, to the post office, to the store, all engaged in this very elemental thing we call living. Life for me today is a series of small steps, of getting through each day by footing one foot in front of the other. Not in a bad way, just-along with some of the decisions I have made and will be making, there are a lot of little steps I need to be taking, so that is what I am really working on doing right now. And how is THAT for enigmatic, right? There will be more, I am sure, but for right now I am just feeling quiet and peaceful.

It is, as you all know, Election Day, and after work I will be heading over to the polls to cast my vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Depending on the results, I will either be at work celebrating tomorrow or will be home packing for my inevitable move to Canada. I hope that every one of you, regardless of who your candidate is, will be voting, or already have. I have been talking to my kids about how this is truly an historic election, and we all need to get out and be part of history. Hannah and Sam will be heading down to the precinct with me tonight, so they can get a first-hand look at what the Election Process entails. I wanted to go first thing this morning, which just didn’t work out, and then I was going to go during lunch, but then the kids wanted to go, so….

And in the meantime, I will keep breathing, and moving, and loving and living.


10 thoughts on “A Poem

  1. I went to vote early this morning, but the polls were already so crowded at 7:20 AM that I came back home. I went back over at 10 AM with my sister and a big sign telling people to vote their principles, not their fears. She took the boys to the playground while I voted and then held my sign. Now we’re back home to put them to bed, and I’m heading back over for a few more hours.I know you will be disappointed I didn’t vote for Obama, but I just have too many moral differences with him. I voted for the Libertarian candidate, because I found out that write-in votes are no longer tallied in this state (Communist pigs!), and I want my vote to show up in those percentages tonight. I think they should be required to count EVERY SINGLE VOTE, even the no-votes, and list them under “other.” Because I want to SEE what percentage of the population really voted for the big candidates, and scrapping the write-ins boosts their percentages by default. After this election, I have decided to switch to the Libertarian party. They had several candidates on the ballot here, all of whom I voted for. And I want to stand outside that precinct in the next election and pass out literature FOR something. I’m so tired of campaigning AGAINST something!!!

  2. I remember several years ago, the nice chilly mornings were the best to go running. Now, I’m grateful I can go walk them, although there isn’t any briskness to it yet! :PI’m on my way to go vote now, hoping the lines aren’t to long!

  3. I totally love Election Day. No matter how many times I’ve been thwarted, I still wake up with new hope on this important day. I realized that I haven’t voted FOR a candidate (namely, Obama) since Clinton. It felt good.

  4. I agree with Freedomfirst (imagine that!) every vote should be counted. Voting is our right and no one should have their vote not counted because it’s a write-in. I am so anxious for the results. I can’t stop pacing.

  5. Oh, I hope, hope, hope Obama gets there…it will be a monumental day for the World if he does.I'm in Australia but the coverage has been non stop here…a phone poll I read of yesterday had Obama as the favoured President with an 89% approval rating.McCain & Palin frighten me, they has a one track mind with very little traffic. He seems to have a single agenda platform. I fear for the USA and my many real and bloggy friends who live there if he gets in.While packing you may want to consider Australia, it's a damned fine place to live…!!Good for you to get out and go walking…I'm trying most days but can only manage 20 mins at best until after surgery next week.Oh, the poem is beautiful…xo

  6. eradicte those fat cells, muhahahaha!Voted between 3 and 4 PM today. It was mercifully quick. I only found out LATER about free Starbucks.Love your poem. thanks for stopping by on my post!

  7. I too went and voted and like you hope I don’t have to get the caravan to Canada; I would rather be here living with history…we’ll have to meet up at the border LOL! What a brilliant post! I love the walking and the feeling of connectedness to the everyday of life, the everydayness of life…thank you for the reminder.G

  8. Oh, you’ve totally inspired me here to stop spending my lunch hours at my desk and get out and walk…I used to do it all the time then stopped for whatever reasons. Good for you woman…and good for Weight Watchers…I frickin LOVE WW. I’ve never been so healthy as when I was on it after the girls were born.

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