Devotions with Mary Oliver: “Tides”

As we come to the end of the week and go forth with boldness into that annual test of one’s fortitude – daylight savings time – it felt fitting to share Mary Oliver’s “Tides” from the A Thousand Mornings (2012) section of her collection of poems, Devotions. When I read it the other night, IContinue reading “Devotions with Mary Oliver: “Tides””

Devotions with Mary Oliver: “Don’t Hesitate”

Don’t be afraid of joy. In hard times, I can see how someone might shun joy’s exuberant embrace. How can I be joyful when… [insert horrific or difficult or sad reality here]? Such thinking isn’t worth a fig, to use the old idiom. I don’t believe that we were made to only indulge in joyContinue reading “Devotions with Mary Oliver: “Don’t Hesitate””

Devotions with Mary Oliver: “At Blackwater Pond”

“Well, I built me a raftand she’s ready for floatin’Ol’ Mississippi, she’s callin’ my nameCatfish are jumpin’,that paddle wheel thumpin’Black water keep rollin’ on past just the same” “Blackwater” by The Doobie Brothers, from What Were Once Vices are Now Habits (1974) I know, I know! The Doobie Brothers and Mary Oliver aren’t talking aboutContinue reading “Devotions with Mary Oliver: “At Blackwater Pond””

Devotions with Mary Oliver: That Little Beast, the Poem

Mark Strand’s “Eating Poetry” and Billy Collins’ “Introduction to Poetry” both address the wonder of reading and interacting with poetry. They are probably my two go-to poems for introducing others to the simple joy good poetry can bring to any life. But Mary Oliver’s “That Little Beast” has clawed its way into the poetic fray,Continue reading “Devotions with Mary Oliver: That Little Beast, the Poem”

Devotions with Mary Oliver: “On Meditating, Sort Of”

Out of the blue, my son Benjamin blessed me with a random gift. No reason. No ulterior motive. Just the choice between another disc for disc golf or a book. As much as I love losing to my sons weekly (it’s hard to believe that I ever held the family course record for Memorial ParkContinue reading “Devotions with Mary Oliver: “On Meditating, Sort Of””

We Few, We Happy Few…

“In that day the remnant left in Israel,the survivors in the house of Jacob,will no longer depend on allieswho seek to destroy them.But they will faithfully trust the LORD,the Holy One of Israel.A remnant will return;yes, the remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God.” Isaiah 10:20-21, New Living Translation Working our way throughContinue reading “We Few, We Happy Few…”

Time to Hear the Christmas Bells

On our most recent shopping excursion, my wife shared with me that classic Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem Christmas Bells. I’ve been familiar with the poem for years, more through the variety of interpretations the poem has experienced in song, but the power of Longfellow’s words themselves ring loud and clear. As I sat in theContinue reading “Time to Hear the Christmas Bells”