Mind Health Blog

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The Journey by Mary Oliver

This is a poem I read in the new book I’ve been reading that I mentioned in a previous post, titled “First, We Make the Beast Beautiful” by Sarah Wilson. I am only 15 pages in and am hooked and amazed at the power behind her words! I wanted to just quickly share a poem by Mary Oliver that she references on the 12th page, titled “The Journey.” This poem moved me to tears because it paints such a vivid picture of anxiety and the strength and determination it takes to overcome it/battle with it daily. Let me know your thoughts.

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice –

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice,

which you slowly recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do –

determined to save

the only life you could save.

– Mary Oliver



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