|Photo by Ihor Malytskyi|
This Mary Oliver poem, "Don't Hesitate" popped up in my life several times in the past few weeks.
“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plentyof lives and whole towns destroyed or aboutto be. We are not wise, and not very oftenkind. And much can never be redeemed.Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps thisis its way of fighting back, that sometimessomething happens better than all the richesor power in the world. It could be anything,but very likely you notice it in the instantwhen love begins. Anyway, that’s often thecase. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraidof its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.”– Mary Oliver
The first time I read it, I was captivated at the beginning and then got a little annoyed towards the end. Like, thanks Mary, another thing to make me wish love was beginning in my life. Harumph. Bitterness.
Then the next time I came across it, I actually transcribed it into my journal and while doing so paid more attention to the middle section. "We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left."
It kind of reminds me of the idea that I wrote about earlier, allowing negativity to be a part of my gratitude practice. What comfort to say, "yeah, there's a lot of garbage here, but also, something glorious threatening to emerge," instead of just trying to blast through with some obligation to choose joy.
It's richer when you recognize what joy is up against, and so powerful to let it reign during the moments it is present.
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