The Fourth Sign Of The Zodiac (Part 3)
by Mary Oliver
I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.
So why not get started immediately.
I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.
And to write music or poems about.
Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be as urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime.
I don’t know if I ever contemplated fleece pyjamas on a Friday night, talking to a cat named Myra. She’s got a bit of a snaggle tooth and she sits by my head when possible. Today I overheard a Jewish radical reading group discussing, among other things, joy. The man in the knit Yamaka was talking about how we confuse joy with happiness. That happiness is external and joy is something inside of us. Joy as serenity, like those prayers that I know are quietly being sent up to whoever might listen. Joy like a full set of fleece pyjamas and the moon near by. Just these things. Maybe I’m learning to be a little bit quieter. I’ve been trying, I’d like to tell Mary Oliver, trying to belong and be grateful.
“Talking the way I hadn’t, didn’t, don’t – about penguins’ eggs, dentistry, lamp oil, cruelty, theft forgiveness, coming quietly, the possibility of writing on the dark. And we said we were glad that we were alive: more precisely, that we were glad of each other’s lives, if not our own. Which is the way that joy comes in – quietly an din the dark”. A.L. Kennedy – Four Letter Word.