Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Before a Trip

Dear Mary,

Once, about to go on a ten day trip through the Olympic Peninsula wilderness, alone and a little scared and sad, I was given a book of your poems.

         What a gift, to find
         Mary Oliver this morning
         Sitting in the living room
        You know what you can
         Do this week, she said,
         You can read my poems to

        The trees, the ocean,
        The mountains.
         It would mean so much to me.

         I would thank you, and hopefully,
         So would the greens and blues,
         The basalt and bark.

That evening I head out for my first reading.   I set out some rules:
   1. Always read aloud.
   2.  Always stand up.
   3.  Do not stop if someone walks by.
   4.  Continue to the end of the poem. 
   5.  Believe that other life forms are listening.
   6.  Speak in a normal voice; don’t whisper.
   7.  Listen for the response.

For ten days this was my practice and joy. Everything from funny encounters to miracles ensued. I recommend this to the solitary traveler.

Thank you.

Kathleen Culver 

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