Here You Are Alive. Would You Like To Make A Comment?

Last night my wife and I were browsing a local bookstore when I came across a new (for me) Mary Oliver book, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings. Mary has always been one of my favorite poets. When I feel disconnected from the wild world of nature and spirit and can’t immediately get out into the woods or to the ocean, I can always get a temporary fix by reading her poetry. When I read her poems I feel like I am breathing in the essence of nature.

But I have never read any of her prose. And this book called out to me from the shelves. There is such a brilliant observation in the introduction that Mary applies to poetry but that I feel is equally applicable to blogging, and I would like to share it with you.

Poets [Bloggers] must read and study, but also they must learn to tilt and whisper, shout or dance, each in his or her own way, or we might just as well copy the old books. But, no, that would never do, for always the new self swimming around in the old world feels itself uniquely verbal. And that is just the point: how the world, moist and bountiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. “Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?” This book is my comment.

This blog is my comment, a fair bit less eloquently stated than Miss Oliver’s comments, but nonetheless unique and worthwhile.

So when you wake up tomorrow and the world says to you, as it does every day, “Here you are alive. Would you like to make a comment?” How are you going to answer?

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      5 Responses to “Here You Are Alive. Would You Like To Make A Comment?”

      1. Genie on May 26th, 2007 7:02 am

        I love Mary Oliver’s poetry, too, and now I’m going to head out to look for this book, I think. Great excerpt, and great food for thought.

      2. Lyman Reed on May 26th, 2007 7:48 am

        That’s beautiful, Edward… especially the part about “each in his or her own way, or we might just as well copy the old books.” Thanks for sharing it.

      3. Edward Mills on May 27th, 2007 9:18 pm

        Genie: I’m just getting into the book. Well worth a look!

        Lyman: You’re very welcome. Yes, that one caught my attention as well.

      4. susan hanshaw on May 29th, 2007 2:31 pm

        Thank you for this bit of inspiration, Edward.

        “…each in his or her own way, or we might just as well copy the old books.”

        That is the invitation, isn’t it? To express our own voice regardless of how scary it may feel to expose our uniqueness for all the world to see.

      5. Edward Mills on May 29th, 2007 4:57 pm

        Susan: That is, indeed, the invitation. We are always being invited to express our own true voice. The more we push through the fear the more we begin to step into our greatness!

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