Your One Wild and Precious Life
‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’
One of my very favorite contemporary poets, Mary Oliver, asked this question in a poem
The Summer Day:
“Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes,
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her winds open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life? “
from New and Selected Poems, by Mary Oliver
If you find yourself pondering this question ‘what am I going to do with my life?’, you know it isn’t a multiple choice exam. It’s an exploration.
The way is both vast and wide, and narrow and steep. We’ll explore what others have written about their journey. I’ll share how I’ve experienced mine and offer some road information clarifying the map. You’ll learn how to take off your blinders so you can see your way through the forest of your life, as well as be drawn into a vaster horizon. You’ll understand and experience your journey, as well as write it.