It feels, right now, as if there is anguish all around me. All last week, my mind was peppered with petty grievances and irritations. Death by one thousand paper cuts. A daily deluge of nodding inconsequential details. It's easy to get wrapped up.
And then there's perspective. In the past several days, we've been hit by so much more. Death, illness, concern and fear. Nothing touching my own little gray house, worry not, but certainly skimming too, too close. I have a lot I want to write about here: Hungary still simmers, photos a-waiting, the kitchen, now nearly fully-functional and the spate of one-pot meals I've been working my way through, courtesy Martha and Everyday Food. But even I know when to take a breath. I want to write, and I am (although the stuff coming out of me right now is not necessarily for human consumption.). But this is our first fall day, with low(ish) temperatures and low skies and a butternut squash and roasted corn chowder on the stove, and what I think I really need to do right now is take that breath, wring my hands and fret a bit.
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 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. Mary Oliver