Rejecting the Busyness of Life

At this moment, I am sitting on the back porch of our rental looking out over Lake Chautauqua as the sun sets. (I’ll include a photo at the end of the post.) My dearest love of 25 years sits by my side, quietly reading. WE HAVE ESCAPED! For four days and three nights we haveContinue reading “Rejecting the Busyness of Life”

“Most Likely to Succeed” – The Weight of a Senior Superlative

Before June completely escapes me, let me share one of the many things rumbling about my brain over the past few weeks. I know that as a teacher, summer is supposed to start once school lets out in early June (at least here in Western Pennsylvania). But June brims over with national speech and debateContinue reading ““Most Likely to Succeed” – The Weight of a Senior Superlative”

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””