Friday, October 10, 2008


Through the post of blog friend Donald, I am reminded of this poem by Mary Oliver. It seems appropriate for National Coming Out Day.

I have a local friend who is really struggling with coming out, ending a marriage, etc. Many the same issues I've dealt with (that I am dealing with, I should say), but we know I'm not alone in this. 'nuff said. This is for Charles, and for Greg, too.

The Journey by Mary Oliver

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.


Raven~ said...


I want to give Alison a book of Mary Oliver's poetry ... which of them would you suggest?

love abides, brother Bear

john said...

That is an awesome poem!

Anonymous said...

I'd dedicate this to my love - the bravest man I know, who I let down on a daily basis because I'm not as brave.


Lemuel said...

Thanks for sharing this!

Java said...

Powerful poem. Thanks for sharing it.

Ur-spo said...

I swear I sent you this poem last year - is this right?