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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Oliver’


Out of the blue, a friend who arrived home from San Antonio about a month ago called me up and said she is coming over for a chat.  Of course,I was elated.  Who wouldn’t be? The last time we saw each other was sometime in October 2014. she said her package has arrived and she brought all these gifts for the family. She even gave some cash to Mommy when she found out that Mom is having her birthday on Wednesday.

Two hours of updating on each other’s lives although we always chat on  Messenger in between.  She brought with her a dozen pocketbooks, baking chocolates, Spam, Skittles and M & M for Nate, a box of Pringles and two hardbound copies of two of my favorite authors Mary Oliver and Richard Paul Evans. Upstream is Mary Oliver’s latest book while The Mistletoe Secret was published last November.  To own such copies, priceless. This is my third book  of Mary Oliver, the first two are books of poems while this one are essays she wrote.  I’ve collected several books  of Richard Evans.  His latest will be out in the market in May.

Celebrating friendship – the smiles, the laughter, the serious talk about life itself, the many, many things that make friendship beautiful. This is the only time that she is free because she has come home for good and has many things to do.  Who says online friends are not real?  We used to be online friends at the Catholic site on Facebook where I am one of the admins. it started with just a few chats in  a group which my priest friend, our chief administrator created. We saw each other several times in the past. Every time she comes home, we make it a point to see each other. This is one of those blessed days to renew friendship. Just so happy.

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PAGASA has finally declared officially yesterday that we are now into summer. They say that we really don’t have summer because we only have two seasons of the year, the dry and the wet. People got used though to calling the dry days and months summer here. It would lasts until probably the last week of May when thunderstorms in the afternoon are regular occurrence.  It is not yet that hot within the day but there are almost no clouds in the sky. For those of us who love the beach, it’s time for that much-needed dip. Just don’t forget to have sunblock in your bag. Days would be longer than nights.

Finally too, I am almost done with my gardening job – trimming the grass, weeding and replanting some of my ornamental plants.  I haven’t touched  anything outside our perimeter wall yet but I guess, the weeds outside our fence need to be uprooted too. They are growing  tall and unmanageable.  Our Santan  plants need trimming too. That would have to be postponed for a while because they are presently in bloom. I love those red flowers, they are lovely under the sun.

I haven’t blogged for two days but I noticed the decline in my views yesterday. It’s down to a little over a hundred compared to the previous five days before that where it reached more than two hundred a day. I remember that those times when I blogged every  day were the same days that my stats went  up. Really, we are only good as our last post although I noticed  that there are some posts that always stay at the top.  I have some favorites but they are no longer viewed now.  I guess participating in writing one post a day really helps. Back in 2011, I did that but it was never repeated. It was  kind of taxing thinking of what to write about every day for the entire year. Maybe in the future I’ll do it again.

I’ve put aside reading for the last three days but I am trying to catch up again with Lang Leav’s poems and Mary Oliver’s thoughts mixed with my fiction books.  It is always nice to get to know other people’s thoughts and dreams. I am inspired by their writings. Sometimes I  wonder where they get all the inspirations to write those lovely texts. I am envious.  I’ve been an admirer of  Mary Oliver for so long but I only have two of her books. A friend bought me a copy of Upstream,  (my 3rd one) her latest but we haven’t seen each other yet.  I read the reviews of the book, read some excerpts from it and I am really looking forward to have that book on hand.  I follow her on Facebook that is why I am updated.  I like almost all of her poems but this one is a favorite. Would love to share it you.  It’s called 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.”

It is summer now, let me correct that, it’s the beginning of the dry season here.  Would just love to enjoy the sun  and reading.

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Been touched by these words.  Good morning everyone.

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I am excited. Truly.

A few days ago, I saw this on Mary Oliver’s timeline. Her new book Upstream will be released in a month and I just hope this time I would be able to find a copy.

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It’s the newest collection of Mary Oliver’s essays.  I’m always on the lookout for Mary Oliver’s quotes online  and luckily I found one on Blogger. Would you believe, the author quoted  a poem of Mary  every day for a year and did a short write-up of what those words meant  in  her life?  I am still on the first few entries but I was able to find some poems which are not included in the only two books I have of Mary Oliver, New And Selected Poems, Vol. 1 and the lovely edition of A Thousand Mornings.

Then I found these on her wall too and I was l smiling like crazy. Her words inspire me, lift me up and give me that boost I sorely need when I feel down. To appreciate  the beauty of the  natural world around us, what bliss!

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One of my favorite poems is this, The 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.

 

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This is just a borrowed title from one of my favorite poets Mary Oliver.  A Thousand Mornings is one of the two books by Mary Oliver that I treasure. Her words inspire, uplift  and  cheer me up to no ends.  Always, I would read a few lines or two, commit to memory some of her words and my day is complete.

All is quiet except the hum of the small electric fan underneath the computer table. It rained last night and there is a little breeze coming from the window. It is one of those mornings that you get a little introspective, you think about life and living and you are grateful for God’s blessings.

Silence.

I always love what silence brings. I always love greeting the morning hearing nothing but the quiet of dawn, a new day feeling hopeful and anticipating what lies ahead.  It’s those few minutes of bowing your head in prayer and listening to the silence in your heart that make life so precious. You ask but sometimes God surprises you with small miracles. You smile at the thought that life though sometimes harder than it seems is still  beautiful.  You smile at the thought that even if you are alone, happiness is within your grasp. You smile at the thought of a new day, a day to make more memories to hold.

Mornings.

I love watching a sunrise. It holds a promise, it inspires a dream.  Sometimes, it plays hide and seek with the clouds  but you feel the warmth of its embrace. I love the sprinkling of  water droplets brought by the rain at night. How I wish I could capture those magnificent bubbles reflecting the beauty of the morning.  I love the fresh morning look of the garden after the rain.  Sometimes, you get lucky finding new blooms or a new shoot of some seeds you planted a few days ago.

droplets

Surprises.

I love those too. A week ago, I noticed my blackberry shrubs bearing fruits at last. I even asked my friend who gave me the seeds last year if they are flowers but she told me just to wait until they ripen into…. yes, black.   They are turning red and Mom said they might be just flowers growing. I can’t wait.  The three turmeric pots have sprouted  leaves finally. The light green oblong shaped leaves are lovelier to look at than the leaves of ginger.  Oh but I love squeezing a leaf of  my ginger plant on my fingers now and then. The aromatic scent is addicting.

Tea and coffee.

Mom would not make a choice, she has always been a coffee lover. I love both though and I love those different tea infusions. You know that feeling of choosing a flavor to suit your mood for the day. Last Saturday, my daughter brought me a box of Twinings’ Lemon and Ginger, a lovely addition to my English Tea Shop’s Cranberry Vanilla Delight, Green Tea and Spiced Red Fruits. I have a few small sachets of Japanese Green Tea. Brewing a Japanese loose leaf green tea has always been a challenge for me, it is easier to use tea bags.  I have two lovely tea kettles with strainer  and I love using each one with the tea bags.  Sipping tea on small cups is just lovely, isn’t it?  Do you read tea leaves?

A thousand mornings….to dream, to read, to appreciate what nature brings, to make another day as lovely as yesterday. Dance to the beat of the day even when no one is watching.  Dance to the music in your head.  Dance to your heart’s desires.

“This morning

the beautiful white heron

was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this

the one world

we all belong to

where everything

sooner or later

is a part of everything else

which thought made me feel

for a little while

quite beautiful myself.”
― A Thousand Mornings, Mary Oliver

 

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Saturday Quote


“Maybe our world will grow kinder….
Maybe the desire to make something beautiful
is the piece of God that is inside each of us.”
                                                         – Mary Oliver

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One of my favorite poets is Mary Oliver. Let me amend that, my favorite poet is Mary Oliver. I love her writings so I followed her page on Facebook, a sure way of being  updated with her works. She has another book coming this October called Felicity and they raffled off  15  extra early copies (or galleys). I was not lucky enough to win but I hope I’ll find a copy when it goes out in bookstores. Here’s something from one of her lovely books, A Thousand Mornings.

Mary Oliver quote

I remember my  earlier post about life being a dance and I quote:

Life is a dance. Sometimes, it is a harmonious fluid movement. We are in sync with the music, utterly attuned to the dance steps, well synchronized with the motion – two steps forward, one step back. Others may lead and others may follow. It is a mad dash to a world of perfect twists and turns, but the journey is not one long road to success and happiness. One wrong move, one wrong turn, one missed step would spell disaster.

We are constantly seeking perfection and excellence in everything we do but there is really nothing perfect in this world that we live in. Life is a meaningless pursuit without challenge. They say that the journeys walked in solitude are always the most remembered. There is something we always learn along the uneven pathways and the most profound events in our lives do not end with the six o-clock news and the setting sun.

This was when I was learning to adjust to the life of being a  cancer survivor. When we falter in our steps, God is there to do the rest.

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“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 red bird to sing”
Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings

I love waking up early thinking of what the day will bring. New hope, new beginnings! I love those quiet moments spent in thanksgiving although at times I skip some beads in my rosary because I am still sleepy.

Mary Oliver always reminds me of how lucky and blessed I am, the morning brings  those inspiring thoughts again.  Years ago, I discovered her writings online and I was impressed at how she could turn simple words into something a reader  would cherish  and ponder upon.  I have two books of her poems given by a generous friend who knows my penchant for collecting book of poems.  I borrowed a title of one of her books and made a blog out of it and until now it is one of my most-read blog posts.

I smiled while I was watering the plants a few minutes ago and thought of Nate and the many photos I took of him during their overnight stay last weekend. I smiled thinking of him asking me how dragons dance and I gladly obliged – what you’ll do to hear the laughter and see the big smile on his face. It was even more hilarious when he imitated my hand gestures and tried dancing too. Those priceless and precious moments would always be remembered with fondness. They are added to the treasure chest.

I am weaning myself off coffee the past few days and I thought I succeeded but this morning was a temptation so I had a nice cup while our three dogs followed  me around the garden probably thinking that I’ll share the cup with them.  Drinking two glasses of water is healthier  than a cup of coffee.

Nissa brought me several books to read and I didn’t know where to start. I haven’t read John Grisham and James Patterson in years so they were quite a change from the contemporary and chick lit books that I have on my e-reader.  I am almost done with my 2015 reading challenge on Goodreads (45 books out of 50), 21 books ahead of schedule. Hooray!

This morning brings those lovely thoughts again.

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MaryOliver bday

This particular quote is one of my favorites.  She’s a sunshine on a gloomy day.

Happy 79th birthday Mary Oliver.  I pray that you will continue to touch us with your lovely thoughts and inspiring words.

 

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Okay, I am reviving my month-ender and  “happy new month” blog. I used to do it in some of my posts but sometimes, in the midst of daily living, you forget things that were part of your routine.

May has quietly faded into June  and  as always it left something to cherish and to treasure. It was terribly hot but the afternoon showers that we got during the last week  somehow diffused the humid feel of the month. Yesterday, I visited my daughter at her office at BPI to get a package  sent by a friend from the US. I took an FX taxi from our place to Ayala Avenue and along the way I was like a child getting re-acquainted with an old place and taking note of changes that were not there thirteen years ago. Thirteen years, seems so long  ago –  yes, it’s been thirteen years since I left Bank of the Philippine Islands  when I availed of an early retirement to take care of my two kids.  Seeing new faces  but looking for old ones who were my former office mates, I now can’t imagine myself as part of the young crowd waiting for elevator rides  and beating the 8:30am rush  to log  in to work. I was with BPI for more than twenty-one years, right after I graduated from college. Waking up early, car pooling,  early morning masses at Greenbelt chapel, lunch breaks and quick walks to Glorietta, afternoon rush to share a ride with friends on the way home, the routine of a working mom, they came rushing back when I saw the facade of BPI. Ayala Avenue has changed of course with more high-rise buildings sprouting from every nook and cranny, it’s after all the Makati Central Business District. What I noticed though was there were lots of people lining up the sidewalk of Ayala Avenue smoking. I am glad I brought a face mask. During my time, smokers just stay at the back of our building at the open parking space. Why can’t they totally prohibit smoking in public?

Sometime last October, I wrote a blog on the newest book of Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings dreaming of having a copy of it when it’s published. It has become one of my top-rated posts  although it was more of me than the book. Yesterday, I finally got hold of it and perused each word, smiling like crazy holding it in my hands, enjoying the feel of  silk because the dust jacket  is so smooth to the touch.

from odette

This is my second book of Mary Oliver and I love how she portrays nature in so many different ways. It feels like you are beside a brook or just looking at an unknown bloom by the wayside or discovering the glint of the moon on a dark night.  Odette, who has become a close friend sent me all these, three books, two latest publications from my favorite author Richard Paul Evans and a copy of A Thousand Mornings together with a hard drive which she says I could use for all the shots that I want to save. Speaking of blessings, they pour in a thousand ways too.

Let me share one of her poems with you. Reading her words always keep me inspired, silently smiling to myself and telling the old me, I am lucky, aren’t I?  The  journey is long but I am blessed.

The Gardener
 
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.

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