There are days when I try to unravel and explain and understand things and I somehow just get exhausted and tangled up.

Ultimately I can not control anything, from other people’s behavior to the results of the scan which will come on Monday.

As I’ve learned with my father, if I can just let him be who he is and stop trying to change him, it is enough. If I stay away from the people and things that make my life difficult, that is enough. If I love with all my heart everyone in my path, that’s enough. I think we all try too hard sometimes. I know I do, and it’s unnecessary.

Little J and I took Heather’s dog Kirby for a walk today. Little J skipped the whole way.

When I find myself needing to understand and explain and control, I’ll just savor that visual of my boy and the dog, so present and joyous.

And for you, too. Here is a poem I love, by Mary Oliver.

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

  1. Helena’s avatar

    Okay, Jenn. You made me cry. And love you more. And made me more determined to live as you live, love as you love. And be me.

    I love the visual too, of Little J skipping. It’s in my head, now. And I’ll be thinking of you all weekend (actually longer and always), and sending love your way.

  2. Jo’s avatar

    The tears came to me too Helena. Jennifer, you have such a way of succinctly and beautifully reminding us of the important things!

    Thank you for that
    besos xxx


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