Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
Keep my mind on what matters,
Which is my work,
Which is mostly—standing still and
Learning to be astonished.
and each time we listen to the call of time, we hone our skills of acceptance…
inquiry for today~ befriend an old soul living somewhere in the periphery of your being…..
I read these words
Over and over.
Bless Mary Oliver.
How does she know me so deeply?
How is it that my wild perfectionism continues to drive me away from the moment?
I am perfectly imperfect.
Do you identify?
Remarkably to me, I am now (and how did this happen?) seventy years old. Although I feel both 12 and 192 at the same moment.
I don’t know.
How do you know yourself at your age?
Let’s look to Mary—she gives us a few powerful messages about how to be who we really are.
I know myself by living into Mary’s reminders,
To stand still,
To remember what’s important,
To learn to be astonished.
Standing still, she says.
Stop figuring it out, stop working so hard at all if it.
Stop working so hard when not working at all.
Breathing and relaxing.
Tasting fully the moment
I know myself by standing still.
Keep my mind on what matters, she says.
What matters is clearly not me, not my mind’s tumbling narrative of the moment, the Great Drama of Me building steam in my mind.
What matters is
being there with another,
feeling the sun on my face,
hearing the crunching leaves
beneath my feet,
smelling the fall
as she opens her arms
I know myself by keeping my mind on what matters.
Learning to be astonished, she says.
Seeing the beauty
In the sunrise,
Moving my body
To the rhythms of the wind,
To submerge fully
Feeling my guitar
I know myself by learning to be astonished.