My dad sent this poem to me today, and it reminded me that I had come across it for the first time at a very difficult time in my life. When I read it, I felt like it was written for me. Every word reverberated within me.
The road indeed was full of fallen branches and stones, and the whole house that was my life trembled. But I also did begin to recognize my own voice, and I did stride into the world. Many things ended. Many things crumbled and broke. But new things came to life also, including my adventures in creativity, much of which I’ve chronicled on this blog. Thanks for sending the poem to remind me, Dad.
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 voice 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 that you could save. — Mary Oliver