Conversations with Raven, Part 2

Early this morning just after the sun broke its way through the dark blue-gray storm clouds, releasing its light for a brief moment in radiant ray and partial rainbow, I spoke with raven again. “Was it the same raven as yesterday”, I wondered. We called back and forth to each other, he saying hello in his language and me responding in raven-language, as skeins of wild geese flew high overhead, going north (from Humboldt Bay to foraging grounds?). Beautiful and moving scene – rather than attempt to express my feelings and thoughts in vain, I turn to the words of another, far more poetic.

I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I always do:

Wild Geese

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 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 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.

~Mary Oliver


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