Friday, January 18, 2019

Saved by the beauty of the world

Image By © 2005 Rachel Giese Brown

I've obviously been thinking and reading a lot about Mary Oliver over the past couple of days. One of the things I loved about her (after the number one thing, her deep appreciation for dogs*), was that she was not a poet's poet or an intellectual's poet. She was kind of a people's poet — which of course means she was accessible and easy to pull a satisfyingly inspirational quote from. But she was also so pure, sincere, so in love with the world. I think the real reason so many people are fans of her work is her magical ability to pin down elusive, fleeting feelings the natural world gives rise to. Like the one you get when you walk down a rocky slope to water that's glittering with light, or when you're up early enough on a cold morning to see blue sea smoke, or when you notice that weird effect of air and light that make it appear that distant islands are floating above the surface of the sea.

*“And it is exceedingly short, his galloping life. Dogs die so soon. I have my stories of that grief, no doubt many of you do also. It is almost a failure of will, a failure of love, to let them grow old—or so it feels. We would do anything to keep them with us, and to keep them young. The one gift we cannot give.” ― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

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