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Archive for the ‘Mary Oliver’ Category


I missed blogging yesterday.

It was cloudy here and it is still cloudy now. I got lazy and just read. What would your  reaction be if you find more books of  one of your favorite authors?  Take a guess. It’s Mary Oliver of course. I finished Felicity in one sitting  and I got so inspired reading. Just started on Blue Iris.  It is a slow read though because I like to imagine those places and things  she described in the book. It is a  rich collection of  poems,  essays, and of Mary Oliver’s classic works on flowers, trees, and plants. When these words uplift the soul, one feels blessed and happy. I am re-posting some poems from her Felicity book.

This one is entitled The Gift.

Be still, my soul, and steadfast.
Earth and heaven both are still watching
though time is draining from the clock
and your walk, that was confident and quick,
has become slow.

So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part.
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
know you are grateful.That the gift has been given.

Then there is this short one called  Everything.

Everything that was broken has
forgotten its brokenness. I live
now in a sky-house, through every
window the sun. Also your presence.
Our touching, our stories. Earthly
and holy both. How can this be, but
it is. Every day has something in
it whose name is forever.

Got this third one online:

There are still so many lovely words there and I am keeping them deep in my heart. I have seven books of Mary Oliver now including the lovely and thick hardbound copy of Devotions.

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I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It’s like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.

Mary Oliver, one of the best poets I ever encountered.

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For those who don’t read my favorite poet  Mary Oliver, this is a borrowed title from one of her lovely works. A Thousand Mornings is a book of poems, a small volume with a silky cover. Just love rereading it.

The last time I wrote about the same title was at the end of August 2018, almost a year now. So what’s it’s all about? It is a month-ender blog. I usually summarize what happened the past month and what I expect the following month. This time though, June was a bit too silent for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love silence and I love the quiet that each day brings. Just sometimes I think I am becoming a recluse. I am still active though on social media, aware of what is happening around, disappointed, dispirited and discouraged by what is happening in our country. I won’t delve on that though, it is too early to whine.

Except for visits to the doctor and labs, family day the other week for Josef’s birthday, the usual twice a month marketing and weekly grocery shopping, everything was quiet.

A year ago, I wrote these lines on my wall at Facebook and I just saw it on memories:

Time flies too soon and June is rapidly coming to a close. It’s been a lovely month spent reading a lot and gardening despite the heat. I hope the month of July would be kind to my weary bones and aching joints.

Got same wishes for this month  of July, maybe more time to read and complete my Goodread’s Reading Challenge. I’ve been cleaning my e-reader lately, deleting those titles that I have already read. I saved those titles that I want to reread.

I am trying to avoid eating sweets but the other day, Jovy made coffee jelly, mango float and mango panna cotta. Just had a few bites. Yesterday, it was a home-made Fudge brownie for our afternoon snack. I am due for blood-sugar testing anytime soon.  I am just too lazy to go back for more lab tests. Maybe when it stops raining, I will. I am feeling good, thank God.

All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
meets and then is overwhelmed by
morning, the light deepening, the
wind easing and just waiting, as I
too wait (and when have I ever been
disappointed?) for redbird to sing” 
― Mary Oliver, A  Thousand Mornings

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The Gardener (Mary Oliver)

Have I lived enough?
Have I loved enough?
Have I considered Right Action enough, have I
come to any conclusion?
Have I experienced happiness with sufficient gratitude?
Have I endured loneliness with grace?

I say this, or perhaps I’m just thinking it.
Actually, I probably think too much.

Then I step out into the garden,
where the gardener, who is said to be a simple man,
is tending his children, the roses.

I just love these words from Mary Oliver. She is one of my favorite poets. Yesterday, I  harvested almost a kilo of kalamansi (Philippine lime). There were plenty more but I was afraid to use the ladder to pick them.

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And if you’re quite familiar with Mary Oliver’s books, you have probably encountered this lovely and uplifting small hardbound volume  of Upstream. It’s a collection of essays of Mary Oliver that provides anecdotes and meditations, her life as a writer and  as a lover of nature. It was published in October 2016.

Thus the book begins with these words: “In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.” 

Unlike her poetry, these essays paint a fuller picture of how she was as a writer, how her life revolved around those things that ordinarily we wouldn’t even appreciate, turtle eggs and hatchlings, owls, spiders, trees, gulls, sunflowers  and the sea. She touched on such renowned authors like Emerson, Whitman and Poe. Learning something about the lives of these writers made me appreciate their words more.

I began reading this book two years ago but I read the essays in increments preferring the lovely poems in her other books. You could actually read it in just one sitting but imagining those scenes described in the book makes you pause and think about life.

At the end of the book, she gave a short tribute to the place where she lived for fifty years in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She ended her prose with: “I don’t know if I am heading toward heaven or that other, dark place, but I know I have already lived in heaven for fifty years. Thank you, Provincetown”.

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I can’t believe this. My favorite author and poet is gone. All these years, I have admired her thoughts and her words.

I’ve been blogging about her since I can remember. I am so lucky to have four of her books,    A Thousand Mornings, New And Selected Poems  Vol. 1, Upstream and one of her latest books, Devotions.  

When I feel so alone, I peruse her poems and I am uplifted. She could write about anything under the sun and when she writes about nature, you feel like you are there communing with her.  When she writes about feelings,  you feel like crying.

Thanks to Getty Images for this lovely photo which I culled from the net.

One of my favorite quotes from her which I have memorized over the years are these words:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Goodbye, sweet friend.

 

 

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I still miss those uplifting words. Now and then, I would reread her poems in the three lovely books I have here in my shelf.  They are a joy to read in this otherwise bleak morning. The sun is slowly coming out though. Mary Oliver is a favorite.

One other author whose works I always look forward to is Richard Paul Evans. We are friends  in Facebook and I  also follow his blog. I have a whole collection of quotes taken from his various books which he freely shares with friends.

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I think I need this for now…..

The Journey
 
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.
   – Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. I have two of her books. From time to time I visit her site to be updated.

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Been touched by these words.  Good morning everyone.

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