The Journey by Mary Oliver

I can’t remember where I read this poem — though it is all over the Internet! — but it really spoke to me in many ways and on many levels.

The last few lines of this poem, especially, are filled with meaning and imagery.

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.

There is so much right now that needs saving in my life, that I cannot even begin to list it all!

I’m still stuck with the many voices pulling me in different directions…many things that are “on fire”…crazy work schedules and deadlines, combined with unreal expectations and unwilling colleagues…and no time to let my voice be heard — by me!

For now, though, I leave you with the poem in its entirety. Read on…

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.

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