I Will Try …

I will try.
I will step from the house to see what I see
and hear and I will praise it.

I did not come into this world
to be comforted.

I come, like red bird, to sing.
But I’m not red bird, with his head-mop of flame
and the red triangle of his mouth
full of tongue and whistles,
but a woman whose love has vanished
who thinks now, too much, of roots
and the dark places
where everything is simply holding on.
But this too, I believe, is a place
where God is keeping watch
until we rise, and step forth again and–
but wait. Be still. Listen!
Is it red bird? Or something
inside myself, singing?

— Mary Oliver from Red Bird: Poems

. . . I believe that the big picture is somehow shaped by how we live the details, the little pictures that run through our lives. This is a belief I choose based on an intuition. It is not something I can claim to know. I can’t really explain it, I certainly can’t prove it and I’m not trying to sell it. And I can’t even guess how this works- how our choosing to be awake and keep our hearts open shapes the collective dream of the people or the planet or the cosmos. I just believe it does. So who I am is a woman who makes a choice to pay attention as often as she can.

— Oriah Mountain Dreamer from The Dance: Moving to the Deep Rhythms of Your Life