Love Sorrow by Mary Oliver

Today is my aunt Guillermina Luna Pacheco’s birthday. She passed away three years ago and I miss her so much that I had to find a poem to celebrate her life.

Love Sorrow

Love sorrow. She is yours now, and you must
take care of what has been
given. Brush her hair, help her
into her little coat, hold her hand,
especially when crossing a street. For, think,

what if you should lose her? Then you would be
sorrow yourself; her drawn face, her sleeplessness
would be yours. Take care, touch
her forehead that she feel herself not so

utterly alone. And smile, that she does not
altogether forget the world before the lesson.
Have patience in abundance. And do not
ever lie or ever leave her even for a moment

by herself, which is to say, possibly, again,
abandoned. She is strange, mute, difficult,
sometimes unmanageable but, remember, she is a child.
And amazing things can happen. And you may see,

as the two of you go
walking together in the morning light, how
little by little she relaxes; she looks about her;
she begins to grow.

Mary Oliver


The Ponds by Mary Oliver


Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe

their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them —

the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch

only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided —
and that one wears an orange blight —
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away —
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled —
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing —
that the light is everything — that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.

Find Shelter

I saw these guys -meaning Noah Georgeson and Devendra Banhart- back in 2006 maybe 2005, I should remember because, being Autumn a time to cleanse, let go of stuff and so on and so forth, I was sorting out my papers today. This resonated with me so much because I had just moved to London about 2 years before I heard this song in concert, where was it? I CAN’T REMEMBER. Moving away from home is NEVER never NEVER easy, even if it’s voluntary. I can’t event start to imagine how it is for people who have to immigrate for political reasons.

The pain of loss, the space of love.

My very dear auntie passed away yesterday. The pain took me by surprise and I covered it with emotional upset. I am now beginning to connect to a more spacious and more loving place. I feel thankful and deeply humbled by this reminder of constant change and transformation. Om Om Om. Peace Peace Peace.

In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

On spontaneity and risk-taking

Today was a glorious day and as I was walking though the Meadows in Edinburgh, I saw a group of people practicing Capoeira and so I stood looking for a moment at all the movements and the amazing pirouettes, kicks, summersaults and hand stands. Not very far from them was another spectator, who was about 4 years old. He was doing the same moves with his small hands and legs. Coincidentally on the other side of the Meadows another little boy was practicing wheel pose and he was trying to come back to headstand and do a backflip but he failed. So he tried again and failed and tried again; which of course reminds me of Samuel Beckett’s phrase “Fail again, fail better”. What was so beautiful about this was to see the freedom to take risks, the lack of fear and the trust in himself and the trust in his body. As adults we become more fearful, less free and we take less risks if any at all. Perhaps we need to connect more often to that deep sense of trust in ourselves that kids have in abundancefotoFrontal2Photo by Andrea Cañón