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.
~from Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver
The poem, excerpted above, knocks me out. I have read it a hundred times and have seen it posted and re-posted by friends online and I still can’t get over how it is tuning-fork, goose-flesh-rising-on-arms, true. It feels like Heaven breaking through a cloud. Today, this was a most-needed tonic. A random event online that was pure beauty. Serendipitous. In a week that had one sick child, a flu-ridden adult, a vacation that wasn’t really a vacation because it was filled with applicant files to read and professional reviews to write, and missed visits with dear friends, it felt like Mercury’s retrograde came in a bit early…and I was beating myself up about all the things I hadn’t done and all the ways I am not ‘good enough’. This beating up thing is exhausting. Fast-forward to this morning. A balm arrives in the form of a poem. Poetry. I think the Persian poet, Hafiz, was absolutely correct: Good poetry makes the universe admit a secret: “I am really just a tambourine, Grab hold, Play me, Against your warm Thigh.”