Soul-searching with A Poem and Camus

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.


 Does this happen with everyone? 


If there is a soul, it is a mistake to think that it is given to us fully made. It makes itself here, throughout our life. And life is nothing but the long and agonizing labor of giving birth. When the soul is ready, created by us and by pain, death is here.

Wrote Albert Camus in Carnets, 1942-1951.

He has made me delve deeper into my psyche and soul. AND, it doesn’t stop here. Do we really ‘see’ and experience our lives? What goes through our minds, does it resonate with at least One other soul on the planet somewhere? I may sound incoherent. Camus makes me ask questions, ones which I might not ask anyone out loud, the sort that leave you with more questions- until you are exhausted about the circle of thoughts that ends where you started; only to find, its not the end. 

 ‘We really live only a few hours of our life.’

 Not the difficulty, but the impossibility of being.


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