Sunday, December 13, 2009


The poem at the bottom of the post is one I recited so often while doing initiations into Reclaiming that I finally memorized it. It is, in so many ways, a perfect poem, at least I think so.

Homo sapiens, as a species, is a social animal. We join forces more often than not. One of my great teachers used to talk about how adept we humans are at collecting ourselves into groups, communities, collectives, teams, crowds, and clubs.

There are so many forms of adoption among humans and other species, too. When we are feeling generous, we realize that we all do, in some way or another, belong to each other. Certainly here in the blog world we adopt each other, yes? I say yes.

I went to a party Friday night at which I realized just how much a part of the Capitol Hill community I have become over the years. Looking around I saw neighbors, clients and friends, and their kids, too, now grown up, who I knew when they were in junior high school. Wow. It was quite moving, feeling in my heart - knowing in my heart - that I don't have to always be the weirdo, the outsider, unless that's what I want. Indeed I used to play the outcast in my family, but the second I decided to abandon that role, I was welcomed in with warmth and enthusiasm.

Because I don't have kids or a partner or a nice house, I have assumed that here on the Hill I am somehow "other." According to the folks at the party, I'm one of them. That story I told myself for years, that I didn't belong? JUST A STORY.

Sweet, isn't it? I think so.

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 your 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.

If you've got a bit of the holiday blues, I recommend walking the gauntlet of a big double row of Christmas trees. That clean smell and the beautiful bluish green needles will clean all the gloom out of your aura. It's like an aura carwash.


Jane said...

Oh, my dear sister, how can I thank you?

Reya Mellicker said...

Jane, you ARE my sister, you are indeed! Thanks are not necessary though I, too, feel incredibly grateful at the moment.

Angela said...

I was JUST going to write a post about these thoughts in your poem. May I quote a line?
Why do I find that so often we have equal thinking? Reya, can`t we meet one day?

Reya Mellicker said...

Angela we MUST meet one day. I just saw your email with the pics of the queen through the ages. wow!!

And another echo of this theme, from Astronomy Picture of the Day. Way cool.

Gotta go work now.

PurestGreen said...

Wild Geese is one of my favourite poems ever. Just thinking of that first line can somehow calm me, make me feel better.

I get that feeling of belonging with my boyfriend. We feel like we live in a bubble. But most of the time I don't really feel like I belong with the larger community.

Holiday blues fix #2. Make preserves. My apple & cranberry chutney is finished and I'm moving on to sweet chilli jam. :)

steven said...

reya - the arrival / return of your self to its place as unique and yet welcomed into whatever community you wish to be a part of is something i can deeply connect to. i worked so hard at being different for the longest time, i worked so hard at protecting my turf, i cultivated a space so vast that only the bravest souls could cross that great gulf. slowly, oh so slowly i pulled the ferryboat of my self across that space and now i am allowing and welcomed much like you into communities who accept me.
i love the aura carwash - you are so very right!!!!!
a hug across the icy woodlands and hills for you reya! steven

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Perfect, I printed it out and put it on my bathroom mirror.

I love the pine scent, didn't put up a tree this year but bought a little tabletop pine so I can scrunch the needles and sniff...almost like lavender to calm me.

Gary said...

We do adopt each other through our blogs, I agree, yes. This becomes another sense of communtiy and for me has led to some wonderful things. I got together with Kimy and Steve on Friday night and we all agreed that you are indeed special, wonderful and fantastic!

Also, loved the poem. It puts things in perspective.

Angella Lister said...

Oh Reya, I am so glad I found you! Yes, I would like to adopt you in blogworld. I feel like you know my soul. I, too, have always felt like the outsider, for reasons a little different than yours, and all evidence to the contrary, because, as you discovered Friday night, there are circles of souls who willingly enfold me and make me feel loved. All I have to do is let myself in, let the consciousness in. Thank you, thank you for this profound illumination of our human condition. We are never truly alone, are we, even when we feel that we are.

Linda Sue said...

YES! I SO needed this post today- right on! Aura carwash - perfect! Still trying to gather my wits after the boy cousin cookies I ate not knowing that he used herb in them...not good.

lakeviewer said...

Love your thoughts.
Love your 'discovery'.
Love the poem.
Love the aura carwash!

You're ready to join the Alleluia chorus!

Elizabeth said...

Such a poem! wow!

Steve said...

Mary Oliver is so amazing -- and so are you, Reya! :)

Barbara Martin said...

Never ever think you don't belong, Reya. We are all connected in this world and in each community. Being friends in the blogosphere is part of that belonging.

Barry said...

You certainly belong in my life Reya and I'm sure I belong in yours.

And I am incredibly grateful.

Nancy said...

Alone is just a construct. We are all One "image" of the mass that is consciousness. Remind me to tell you of a dream I had not long ago regarding this issue of "alone."

Ronda Laveen said...

Separation starts in the mind, yes? I have never heard that poem and I do adore it.

So you belong to the neighborhood gang. I love it.

Barbara said...

I love the idea of an aura car wash. I will need to find one.


Linda Sue said...

Reya- you know so much about so much- I am curious about what you may know about dreaming of dead people...I just blogged a dream I had last night and am wondering if dreams are only to soothe bad feelings about dead folks...Like our own heads sort of dealing or are the dead close by...Curious for your imput...

Linda Pendleton said...

Love all your photography, Reya. And of course, your comments.

karen said...

I could almost smell those Christmas trees in the aura carwash - wonderful! Love the Wild Geese poem and picture, and the great feel-good post...

Lori ann said...

This is a beautiful post Reya. I love Mary Oliver and have given a few of her books for gifts in the past. Wild Geese is maybe my favorite too.
Such kind and wise words you have shared. Blessings and Peace to you.