Reading from class: "You Don't Have To Be Good"

December 13, 2014

“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.” 
― Mary Oliver


It is hard to be ok with who we are. Thinner, smarter, more productive, better parent, lover, person. All these efforts are fine as long as we can appreciate who we are. Are we chastising ourselves and others? Are we cherishing our bodies and giving back?

Sure I want to eat a bag of pirate booty while watching Extra and shaking my head at fill in the blank celebrity and their seemingly selfish antics. and I do. But can i reel it in to be at a place where I don't freak out if my jeans are mysteriously snug and remember I made two kids with this here body. It's a balance. We are never alone and have a place to make our own. As well as widen our space to include others we encounter along the way. 


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elaine theodore

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