Life

Wild Geese: Mary Oliver

A friend gifted me a beautiful copy.

The words were swirly, and letterpressed onto white rippled cardboard, and when I read it—Wild Geese, a poem by Mary Oliver—I just knew there was no one in the world that needed it more than I did.

Fast forward to today: a few months after I met this lovely poem, and it met me. I’d planned another blog post entirely— I’d even written it and was ready to post. But the soft girl said, ‘No.’

The soft girl said, ‘share the poem.’

So, here I am.

Sharing the poem. Why?

Because the soft girl said so.

And if you feel it in your heart the way that I felt it when it first found me…then you’ll know the soft girl meant it for you. xx

***

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.

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Life

The Deep End Of Me

If I love you:

Today, you feel like all the pink clouds in my sky.

white clouds and blue sky

 

If I miss you:

Today, I ache for what we make the world when we are together.

photo of four girls wearing school uniform doing hand signs

 

If I know you:

Today, I see every inch of your universe; inside, outside, below and above.

sky space dark galaxy

 

If I’m upset with you:

Today, you are the one black rock among a sea of white.

nature summer yellow animal

 

Today, I feel everything and all of us.

Today, I am swimming in the deep end of me.

photo of man with face paint

 

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Life

Once Upon A Lifetime Past

I couldn’t tell you how old I was. Seven or eight, maybe. However old I was, though, I was old enough to know what I believed. And what I absolutely did not believe was that my Mum had been killed by Jack the Ripper in a past life, like her meditation session had seemingly ‘revealed’. Ridiculous. Impossible. Absurd.

But I’ll get back to Jack a little later, shall I?

First: some background.

As I’ve mentioned in some of my earlier posts, I was a highly sensitive child. A soft little muffin, and a deep one at that. But what I also seemed to be was an ‘old soul’, and none of the adults in my life ever were quite able to explain how that part of me came about.

The ‘old soul-ness’ kept popping up all the way through my teenage years and manifested in all sorts of different ways. Perhaps one of the most profound came in the form of a monologue I performed in the year eleven drama class play. It was the science teacher who mentioned it. He said—in fact, his whole entire body said— it was surely impossible for a sixteen-year-old to really know the feeling of ‘glass grinding in my spirit.’

‘How did you know?’ he asked, his eyes far more serious now than they had been when he explained to me that a Bunsen burner works best when it’s actually switched on.

‘Umm. I’m not sure,’ I said, slightly alarmed by the intensity of his usually playful eyes. It was an odd thing, I agreed, and honestly, I didn’t know where the depth of my performance had come from. But after seeing those eyes of his change so drastically…part of me wondered.

And part of me has wondered ever since.

So let’s get back to Jack then, shall we, and how he very rudely slaughtered my Mother once upon a lifetime’s past. Because it sounds bloody ridiculous, doesn’t it? Sounds impossible and absolutely, entirely absurd.

Well…yes. It does.

But I have to tell you, I’m not so sure anymore. As a matter of fact, I have been very seriously rethinking the nature of just about everything in this old universe of ours. And I’m thinking, now, that maybe—just very slightly maybe—my Mum might have been right about Jack.

What if the unexplainable really could be explained by remembering further back in time? What if the uncanny childhood wisdom that so many young children seem to possess, actually does come from someplace they have actually been before? Like…another life, perhaps?

Now wouldn’t that be something else.

adult air art female
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Life

Naked With Friends

Once upon a youthful eve, when my porcelain skin had only seen twenty-one summers, naked with friends happened. Innocent naked. Not at all sexual, naked (let’s be clear on that right away.)

I’ll never forget the naked of that night, all of us huddled in a combi van on a deserted beach, drunk on Sambuca; passing around stories and laughter, gulping down slightly awkward lungfuls of seaside air.

That night, our skin shone apricot under the moon. We were free. What we were doing was special, we all agreed. And when we did, we promised—we promised—we’d do it again when we were ninety (only God knows why we made such an outlandish long term commitment, but such is the beauty of youth, wouldn’t you say?)

Naked with friends found me again today, and no one could have been more alarmed than me that it was back again. It was 11:00am, and the only beverage I’d consumed since I woke was a large carry mug of coffee, which I downed as I drove to meet my friend at the Japanese hot baths in Collingwood.

This particular friend was my best friend from high school, the one who taught me it was actually possible to make a cake without ‘packet mix’ (cough: don’t judge). She’d seen me laugh. She’d seen me cry. She’d seen me get married, and watched me go from ‘teen’ to ‘adult’ to ‘Mum’.

She had never seen me naked.

I admit to wondering how the awkward of that might go, given I would be sober, and given I really only get my naked out if I’m absolutely in love with someone (or in a van with them getting drunk, apparently). And though I do love this beautiful friend of mine…naked wasn’t in my plan for us.

Until it was.

The old me would have run for the hills at the mention of nude bathing (no really, the actual Sound of Music hills) but since I became a Mum, and even more so since I found the soft girl wandering around in the quiet corners of me… I’m not so afraid of naked anymore.

Today I was naked with friends for the second time in my life. My body was naked, but my heart and my soul were naked, too, and perhaps that was the most beautiful part.

Because when do we ever get the chance to let the wildling within do exactly what it wants to do, without judgment, without limits? More than twice, for me, I hope.

naked woman sitting beside blue wall

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A Blog a Day in May

Darling May

Darling May.

How I have adored you.

How you will linger

always

like the scent of cherry-chocolate

and minty tea

on me.

Delicious May.

How you have moved me.

Opened my bright,

and soothed my aching

day.

Oh, May.

Ever my darling,

May.

*

To my dearest blog friends,

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed spending these days of May with you all, spilling my heart out, my joy, my sadness— my everything. Thank you for reading my words. Thank you for absorbing my hidden extras. Thank you for your friendship, your compassion, your insight.

Thank you for your inspiration.

It’s been fun. 🙂

Lots of love, Brooke.

Ps. See you tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. And probably the next. Because how could I leave you now? Let’s see how this blog post a day works out for a bit longer shall we? xx

girl and puppy sitting on green grass surrounded with shrubs during daytime
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A Blog a Day in May

Everything I need

I close my eyes to the world

and then there is only me.

When there is only me

I can feel.

I can see.

I can know

everything I need to know.

And

when I need to know more—

I close my eyes.

And I come back

to me

again.

Back to the only one

who knows my answers.

woman holding glass ball
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