Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Wild Geese" and Diabetes

After a long day (or week or month) of struggling to bring blood sugars into balance, when I am exhausted from playing pancreas and feeling inadequate to the task, when I cannot face the judgment of the numbers on my glucose monitor- I have found Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese" brings me back to a gentler awareness of my relationship to my body. Her simple and subtle brilliance asks me to remember my connection to the larger world, and, thus, move away from my own suffering. I experience a rare physical peace from reading this poem.

                                                            Wild Geese
                                                           by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.


  1. what a beautiful poem! thank you for sharing it. perfect.

  2. This is one of my favorite poems! It really is like a cup of hot tea in the midst of a challenging day - soothing and refreshing.

    xo Lis

  3. Oh, how I love this poem. And I love that I found it here, on your wonderful awesome blog. Thank you for posting this, and for making me take a moment and listen to Mary Oliver. She is delightful. Namaste.