Mary Oliver often makes mindfulness seem so luminous in her poems. Through her perceptions of the vivid realities of nature, and through her deep experiencing, she lets a mindful way of being speak to her and then to us.
Apparently, she is one of the best loved poets of our time (according to the shop-keeper of my local poetry bookshop in Hay-on-Wye). This suggests that in this ever more complex world, there is a longing for the natural simplicity, beauty and aliveness that she gives us in her words.
In this poem she reflects on what the soul is, letting a whale bone be a messenger. Then the ocean speaks to her of the eternal, and she senses the presence of the golden sand beneath its darkness, hidden far out of sight. In the end she finds her way into the mystery of existence by letting herself not know what the soul is, yet play at the edge of knowing, which lands her into the wonder of the now – into ‘looking and touching and loving’, which in the end feels like the point of it all.
The process she goes through feels familiar to me. I try to grasp at knowing the meaning of life and the spiritual truth of existence, fail to get anywhere, and land back into the sheerness of the moment, my own sentience being the ultimate gift to be lived and shared.
Ps. Join us for the Wonder of the Everyday course which begins after Christmas. The constant project to get to somewhere better can cause a rejection of our own precious life, causing us to miss out and feel unfulfilled. The intention for this course is to start the new year by finding the wonder that is present in our own imperfect life as it is.