The hardest part of the journey

by Lauren McCabe on June 28, 2013

Bali the journeyIt’s seldom easy, but then this isn’t either: a path that’s not your own but here you are stumbling  deeper and deeper, further and further into the forest. With each step forward there’s cheering, loud, dizzying, intoxicating like August sun.

That’s why you start now with a poem like this one and an understanding that your first step away isn’t the first ever but an endless parade of first steps by an infinite stream of people who in their small and silent ways have proven that it’s possible.

Cheers to Mary Oliver and her wise prose.

The Journey

By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

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