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Why Not Get Started Immediately?

There's a Mary Oliver poem that starts out with a gripping truth:

"I know you never intended to be in this world."

When I first read that line, it stopped me in my tracks.  I felt the cut of it so keenly, that lack of choice.  Because who of us actually has any say in the matter? 

And given the current conditions in this world, would we honestly choose to be here if we did?

Many of the people I speak with aren't so sure.

And yet Mary Oliver (in her glorious genius), points out the obvious.

"But you’re in it all the same."

There's really no denying this.  We're HERE—whether we like it or not.  And there seems to be something important about that.

Mary Oliver thinks so too, because her poem urges us to get cracking on creating a life we can belong to.

"Why not get started immediately.  I mean, belonging to it.  There's so much to admire, to weep over.  To write music or poems about."

And isn't this true?  Isn't this where we DO have choice?  In what we appreciate?  In how we make meaning out of the meaningless?  In how we contribute?  In what we create?

If we're here, why not better this life in any way we can?

Mary's suggestions on how to do this are so easy.

"Bless the feet that take you to and fro.  Bless the eyes and the listening ears.  Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.  Bless touching."

Appreciation always paves the way for a deeper experience of life.  When we acknowledge the things we HAVE (most of them astonishing miracles!) we open the channels of love, connection and creativity.

Can you think of a better way to enter 2024?  

I can't. 

So, to echo Mary's words . . . why not get started?


Wishing you a very happy, healthy New Year!

P.S. Mary Oliver is one of my favourite poets and I'm deeply grateful for her work.

Her poems have influenced me in ways I still can't quantify.  If you're a fan too, I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. The poem that inspired today's newsletter is called The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac, which you can find in her collection Blue Horses



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