Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The Journey

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.

~~ written by Mary Oliver ~~


Lisa said...

yes, i remember that one day.....

Anonymous said...

Whoa! That is extremely beautiful and powerful. It has created a sea of emotion inside of me, that I now need to sort out. I love it.

Daria said...

Very beautiful painting.

Thanks for your comment this morning. Emotionally I'm feeling very weak. I see the psychologist this week, so that is a good thing.

Sarah said...

Oh REnee, this is deeply sad and equally as hopeful!! I love this thank you for sharing hon. I have a friend whom I will pass this on to today. How are you doing my dear?? Love, Sarah

pRiyA said...


Tessa said...

So true that poem - you do have to ignore the pleading voices sometimes and just sit still for a moment and listen to your own.

Renee darlin', are you okay today? Sending a bunch of kisses over the pond to you xxxx

glorv1 said...

I think we all have a voice inside of us that wants to save us when we need to be saved. That was a beautiful read Renee, in fact it has started me out for the day. I'm just getting ready to leave for exercise and paused for a few to leave some comments here and there, but especially here. Have a great day and be well, happy, and as always optimistic. Take care. ::hugs::

pinkglitterfae said...

hi Renee,
I love this poem (?). I know I've got it printed somewhere, but glad to see it again. It is something for us all to strive for. It's not the easiest thing in the world to do...everyone in your life does expect you to be who they want you to be...
have a great day!

studio lolo said...

Oh Renee, what a perfect poem. So fitting for many of us like yourself and KJ...me too. I love Mary Oliver, and this image is a perfect companion to her words.

I think I'l print the poem and keep it by my computer. I need to be reminded to save myself~I do have self-destructive habits.

Love to you on this rainy morning dear sister Raven. Wait till you see what I got in the mail yesterday. It will be my Animal Wednesday post ;)

Big hugs across the miles!

Linda Sue said...

Renee of the day- beautiful!

Yoli said...

I love this and it was only when I turned 40, that I had the bravery to live that way.

Coreopsis said...

This is a marvelous poem. I'm a huge Mary Oliver fan, but I hadn't read this one before....

....and then the painting. It too is marvelous. She is such a strong figure (in red, no less), but small, in the swirls of the world.

I really like what you said on my blog about the talisman being inside--and the mother that is inside every little girl.

You've given me a lot to think about today. Thanks.

lakeviewer said...

What a soulful poem. How are you? I'm getting better; soon, I will be able to drive, and mail stuff to my friends who have been waiting. It feels so confining when one can't drive off and do stuff.
Take care, Dear Renee.

Breeze said...

How wonderful...I wrote a poem on a similar theme here...I wrote it in the very moment I felt a change happen, a moment when I knew, a quantam moment you might say...let me find it and bring it to you...thank you for sharing...sometimes, although we know, it's still nice to be reminded!

Sonia ;) said...

Renee....powerful poem and self expression...Love the art also the little details in the picture are what makes it so serene and captivating...Girl I posted you on my blog again...Its like christmas...


Sonia ;)

*jean* said...


Breeze said...

Here it is.


I love this poem you posted and the painting is beautiful!


The Invisible Blogger.... said...

Okay, your included "wink"!

soulbrush said...

perfect poem for today. josephone, what a gorgeous name, all the new parents are choosing old fashioned names these days.....i have given you an award on my blog but i see you have it already. with hugs.

soulbrush said...

there's an award for you on my blog, with lotsa hugs (did i tell you already?, if i did....take it as 'oldtimers'...)

Shelly said...

I loved that the picture you chose is of a women who has a certain maturity and I love that the poem you chose really speaks to us all…life certainly is a journey.

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

A beautiful image, and one of my favorite poets!

I hope you're having a good day, Renee.


Karin said...

I LOVE this -& it's perfect for the chosen image, naturally. dang you're good :)
love you, K

Michelle said...

Oh I can so relate.

And what a journey it is.


Manon Doyle said...

Terrific poem and painting! I'll take this with me though the rest of my day!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Wonderful poem and artwork. I looked up Mary Oliver & am ordering a couple of her poetry books. Thought it was interesting she was influenced by Edna St. Vincent Millay who is one of my favorites along with Anais Nin.
xoxoxo Lizzy

Aleksandra said...

O dear,I inprint these words in my heart,sweet hart of mine,you beautiful you,be good and look in the window maybe you'll see my face smiling at you,dearest.Love and hugs Sandra

Delwyn said...

Hello Renee
i have learned of Mary Oliver through blogging and love her work. The pic is makes a fine companion to the poem.

It's true we are our own saviours.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

What a powerful poem.

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Great theme - we all need to be reminded to be true to ourselves on our journey.

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

And a very Happy Easter to you too Renee!! We have the in-laws arriving on Friday from interstate to stay with us over the school holiday period so we are busy getting organised :)

glorv1 said...

Hi Renee, I just came back to say hi and to make sure all is okay. I miss your comments on my blog. "Come back little sheba." Okay I'll wait. Take care and be well.

Woman in a Window said...

Sometimes you have to save yourself before you have the strength to save others.
be well,

Ces said...

This poem is a good prompt. I think it will be a good exercise for me to burn an autographed book and some other items.

angelique said...

That was very nice Mom. I don't know why I felt a little sad (?), maybe emotional reading it though. It is hopeful.

Bella Sinclair said...

Here you go, madam, a dime for you. No, no, please keep the change. Your dream reading was that good.

I've read these gorgeous words several times now. Such hope, such strength. You want to know something strange, though? The more I read it, the sadder it seems. She is able to reach clarity and freedom at the end, but she is alone with only the sound of her own voice to keep her company. I like to think of myself as self-sufficient and independent, but it's the sound of loving voices around me, yours being one of them, that make me rejoice.

I am thinking extra deeply of you this month and keep you in my prayers.

Kate James said...

I love Mary Oliver's poetry too...this one is just beautiful.

A favourite line from another of her poems, 'The Summer Day' is 'Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?'

How exciting it is when you begin to open the door on what it is you were meant to be doing. Thank you for this post Renee...I would love to share it on my blog if you are happy for me to?

kj said...

renee, did you post this poem for me? ha! how vain that i would even think that, but it sure is a welcomed and needed reminder for me today. mary oliver is one of my very favorite poets. she lives in provincetown where i have a place and will be this summer, and sometimes she does readings at the local fine arts center.

renee, i read your comment on bella's blog--alot of tests this week and news in april. i am not a big prayer but i am going to pray and visualize those cancer cells marching right out of your body--there is a band playing john phillip souza and those cells are just marching out, row by row. that is the image i am going to create for the next month.
love to you always, kj

Anonymous said...

Wonderful poem...very spiritual.

Strawberry Girl said...

Love it... my ever present two year old is again on my lap!! Sheesh, how can I write witty comments?

Bella Sinclair said...

Oh, dear, I forgot. At the end of that dream, I felt surprised and elated to find that this person, who was so important to me, felt the same way about me. It was a nice dream.

Once again, words of gentle wisdom from you. I'm learning every day what I want. It's the courage to pursue it that is another matter altogether.

My parents are leaving tomorrow, so we will celebrate Easter quietly. Have a wonderful night.

with love, bella

la sirene said...

So true... Renee. Thank you°°° I'm so glad of your visit on my blog and hope to see you soon.

Ces said...

How come Bella gets free dream interpretation and I don't? You love her more?


Pardon me.
That was just the tempest
that was me!

Carolyn said...

Wow! Your poem has so much feeling and emotion! You are a true artist.
How are you doing? I'm sorry I have not commented in a while. My computer crashed and I have been getting ready for a few shows. I think of you often and say some prayers for you!

Caroline said...

That's a beautiful picture - very textural. Do you know the artist? Inspirational matching poem too. Thanks for your sweet comments about my daughter - she looks very like her Father! Hope you are well today Renee.
Caroline x

Carolyn said...

Sheesh, hhahaaa... I didn't see the
~~ written by Mary Oliver ~~
at the bottom! I'm so dingy!! The little boy at the end of my post belongs to Christina from "The Fancy Chola". She's my best friend thats her son. I call him My Guelly. But he's actually not mine.. lol I guess I should change that..

nollyposh said...

Hmmm that's the journey alright x