Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Journey/The Awakening

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.

by Me

Have you ever stopped
when the moon is brilliant
either full or half
quarter or crescent
and the sky is clear
and never ending.
Did you realize then
that this same moon
and this same sky
have always been with you?
And you have returned
subconsciously to them
again and again and again?
But today is an awakening
that you have always been here
in one way or another
year after year
millennium after millennium
and that your awakening
has always come
and it always will.


  1. Both are so wonderfully done and the reflection of Journey/Awakening is perfect. The Awakening - the realization becomes the journey. Perfect.

  2. The moment of awakening are so clear and yet so fleeting that we wonder how and when it happened !

    This was a lovely verse ..

  3. Wonderful thoughts. What has been will always remain with us, even when consciously forgotten.

  4. Thank you folks. I once put that Mary Oliver poem under glass on my desk where I would read it every day. It made a difference in my life.

  5. A most beautiful poem with lots of wonderful thoughts to take on board, awakening is an amazing moment in ones life, you've captured it beautifully.

    1. thank you yikici. i agree with you that an awakening is worth living for.

  6. I've always read Mary Oliver with a sense of recognition and appreciation. Your take on her "Awakening" is fresh and filled with insight, well worth reading again for it says we are always in the process of 'awakening.' I hope you don't mind that I riffed off your poem "Love is like . . . " for my entry today.

  7. Thanks Beth. I love Mary Oliver. I give her credit for being one of the people who taught me how to awaken. And I was very honored that you used the poem. Thank you.