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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Oliver’


pattern

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches. –

~ Mary Oliver ~

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Amazing! There is always something new every time I read Mary Oliver’s poems and you get to imagine the scene while appreciating every word. You get  to open your eyes to the way she sees the world – and you smile because somehow she has accurately described what you feel. I can’t wait to read her new book, A Thousand Mornings which a friend  bought for me.

Value time, value each moment,  love nature! Expressed in simple words but touches the core of your being. So much to learn, so much to appreciate just reading her poems.

Song of the Builders
On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God –
 
a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside
 
this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope

it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways

building the universe.

Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?

Don’t call this world adorable, or useful, that’s not it.
It’s frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.
The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.
The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.
 
But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white
feet of the trees
whose mouths open.
Doesn’t the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?
Haven’t the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia, then Europe,
until at last, now, they shine
in your own yard?
 
Don’t call this world an explanation, or even an education.
 
When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking
outward, to the mountains so solidly there
in a white-capped ring, or was he looking
 
to the center of everything: the seed, the egg, the idea
that was also there,
beautiful as a thumb
curved and touching the finger, tenderly,
little love-ring,
 
as he whirled,
oh jug of breath,
in the garden of dust?
 

 

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IMG_3427 Then she said:

I have a notebook with me all the time, and I begin scribbling a few words. When things are going well, the walk does not get anywhere; I finally just stop and write.

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tbr list for 2013

2012  – a lazy year of reading for me, I guess I could count on my fingers the books I have read this year but then I call it the busiest year that I accumulated more books on my shelf than I care to admit. There are still unopened books that I bought more than a year ago with the thought of replacing the ones we have lost a few years back.  A good friend who came home last October gifted me with thirteen books, some of which she brought home with her and the rest via UPS. She says that she  bought more books for me, newly published ones  that are on my wish list.

I love going to bookstores,  I love the scent of the pages of a new book.  National Bookstore, Bestsellers or the ever reliable Booksale, they are my favorite jaunts every time I have enough time to browse. Hopefully by 2013, I could read all of  these, my reading list is getting longer and here are some titles that I would make a priority of.

  • Breakfast At Tiffany’s  -Truman Capote …  Just read it a month back and found some videos on YouTube about this much talked about book for decades. Would love to re-read it  sometime  next year and re-acquaint myself with the quirky Holiday Golightly.
  • The Collected Works of Oscar Wilde… a thick volume of Wilde’s writings.
  • Alone  – Rod McKuen…  I love Rod McKuen, I love his thoughts and Alone is the kind of book that you want to absorb and  gives you that feeling that you can be a poet too, in simple words, that is.
  • The Poems and Prayers of Helen Steiner Rice …Who would not be mesmerized  by the words of this poet? Anyway, the poems and prayers of Helen Steiner Rice were a bright beacon to my college years. And I remember some of her beautiful quotes written in scented pens on my notebook. She was considered as  the “unofficial poet laureate of hope and optimism.” I finally have my copy, a new edition.
  • Everyday Grace –  Marianne Williamson … This is my first book of Williamson and I am really looking forward to read it this coming year.
  • Thoughts in Solitude – Thomas Merton … I’ve long been wanting to have a copy of any Thomas Merton’s books, this is it.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neal Hurston …  Another gift from the same friend who gave me thirteen books this year. It’s included in the 1000 list of books you have to read before you die. Zadie Smith who introduced the book has this to say, “Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the very greatest American novels of the twentieth century. It is so lyrical it should be sentimental; it is so passionate it should be overwrought; but it is instead a rigorous, convincing and dazzling piece of prose, as emotionally satisfying as it is impressive. There is no novel I love more. Well, what more can I say but just enjoy it.
  • A Wild Sheep Chase – Haruki Murakami …Who would not love Murakami?
  • Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, Lord John – three  hard-bound books by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve always loved how Diana writes historical novels.
  • Irish Linen Andrew Greeley…  Greeley is a Catholic priest writer. I love his other books, I wonder if this one is worth-reading too.
  • Coming Home – Rosamunde Pilcher … She’s one of my favorite authors so I always look for her books every time I visit Booksale.  A year ago, I wrote about her, you can find it here.
  • World Without End  – Ken Follett … a sequel to one of my favorite books, The Pillars of the Earth. It’s a birthday gift from my daughter.
  • A Change of Altitude, All He Ever Wanted …two books by Anita Shreve, another author that I love.
  • More Glimpses of Heaven – Trudy Harris
  • Human Traces – Sebastian Faulks …It’ actually my first book of Faulks so I am excited to read it.
  • Critical – Robin Cook … I collect Cook’s books, they are all wonderful read about the medical field. Cook is a doctor.
  • Exile – Richard North Patterson… had this for years but it is so thick so I keep postponing to get it off the shelf.
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving… Really looking forward to reading this one. It has excellent reviews.
  • Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems…   Ah, my prized possession this year and it is the first time I ever had a copy of  a Mary Oliver book.

As if these are not enough, Odette (the same friend who gifted me with the thirteen books, three of which are all Richard Paul Evan’s latest) sent me this new year greeting with pictures of another two books that she bought for me, A Thousand Mornings which was just released last October and which inspired  me to make this blog of the same title and the new book of Richard Paul Evans entitled A Winter Dream. Aren’t I lucky?

happy new year by odette

I promised myself I would read more in 2013.

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I am a regular reader of this lovely blog, Lady Prism  who is always quoting Mary Oliver.  Why have I missed  this writer all these years?  Reading some of her works, I am reminded of   Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I didn’t even know her name until a few months ago. Sometimes, her words touch you to the core.

“Listen–are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”

Wow, these words made me think and ask these questions? Am I happy with this life I am leading?  Is there something more that I want to achieve?  Am I just freely flowing with the tide, slowing down one moment and rapidly making waves the next?  When you think of life, you think of your Creator and this world is so vast you wonder if you are making even just a dent on it. Will you be remembered the way you want to when you are gone?

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

Yes, every one of us probably dreams of one legacy to leave behind. Were you, are you,  or will you be the good example that people would remember?  I know we will always want to be remembered doing some good deeds for our fellowmen than just being a name in the obituary page. Morbid you say? In the end, it would not matter if we lived a life but it’s  how we lived it that counts.

Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.”

I definitely agree – one finds happiness in simple things and it is amazing how everyday, we encounter  something that sometimes changes our attitude towards life

itself but the thing is , we are not aware of it because we are not attuned to our feelings.  Hello world…I am here!

“Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am
to be blessed.”

Everyday is a blessing .  Let your five senses feel – God is near! Have you ever had that feeling  of oneness with the universe while you are admiring a beautiful landscape or watching a child smile and curl up her tiny hands in yours? Were you ever excited waiting for the sunrise and seeing a beautiful sunset?  Amazing isn’t it that even a simple bloom would make you swoon and say, what a beautiful life. At one point, we reach some crossroads and we feel afraid to take the untrodden paths. God leads us anywhere we want to go though sometimes, we are afraid.  Trust me, He says and we should. He will hold our hands and carry us even when we are afraid to take another step.

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