Last night's dreaming contained an element frequent to my dreams, a strong sadness, near desperation, in the search for a place to live in the world where there will be support and comraderie. This has been amped up lately as I've been thinking about how I'd like to move to Portland, Or. Except there's no dayjobs there and I have to have a dayjob, and moving is scary when you're alone.
Austin's been a good place for me. I love my loft. I know a lot of folks. But they're all paired off and many have kids and they're just busy with their own lives, not really very there, in that supportive, community-feeling way. I reach out, invite people to go to dinner, movies, etc., but they just have too much already going on.
A lot of the time, that's okay; but also quite regularly, it is not so okay.
Enter this Mary Oliver poem, excerpted on Terri Windling's blogpost today (*you know about the amazing auction raising money for the amazing Terri, currently in need, right? Glittering scads of remarkable items and services on offer there.)
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.
© Mary Oliver
This is, btw, one of the elements that contributed to my becoming a writer at an early age, the desire to participate in this offering of the world, the vast and inspiring natural world, to my imagination.