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.
- Mary Oliver
- Which line of the poem stands out? What does it evoke in you or inform you of?
- What are the “wild geese” calling to you? How can you use this "calling" to support or guide yourself right now?
- What will help you announce your place in the "family of things"? What will allow you to love what you love? How will you use this connection + passion to drive your work/life?
I could write a billion reflective prompts/questions on this one poem. I'll stop here before we both get overwhelmed with inquiry overload. Choose one, or craft your own. Stay in the emotion and imagery of the poem and post your thoughts below and add to the wild geese exploration!