Mary Oliver, the American poet wrote
'You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves. [...]'
In these few short words she opens up the possibility of another kind of life;
a life which is not ruled by the need to be good,
a life in which you can forgive your self for mistakes made,
a life in which you allow your self to know what it is you truly love.
If only for a minute, allow your self the luxury of imagining such a life!
What does it look like?
What does it sound like?
Who is in this one precious life of yours?
What do you spend your days doing?
Just for a moment hold back the avalanche of shoulds, musts and ought to's,
and make a note of what you see.
Then look at your life with new eyes,
and take one small step,
in the direction of your dreams.
More about Being 'Good'
My small Granny gave me love. I always felt welcome in her house. I always knew that she wanted the best for me. In a confusing world, I felt safe in her house.
Granny's house meant hugs and apple pie. The warmth of the range (stove) and a feather quilt. It meant picking pea pods in the garden and shelling them into a bowl. Granny's house meant feeding the hens and chamber pots under the beds. It meant hand washing clothes and washing ourselves with face cloths and kettles of boiling water cooled down with jugs of cold water. Granny's house meant oil cloth on the kitchen table and strong, milky tea with heaps of sugar. It meant stories by the fire at night and card games. There were great adventures too, like picking cockles and periwinkles on the shore line or watching the fishermen bringing live eels onto the pier and squealing when we saw their many teeth.
There was a rhythm to each day in my small Granny's house. Life was simple and love was all around.
I was blessed to have my grandmother in my life for 23 years. And even now I still feel her love in my heart.
Claude Steiner, one of the leaders in the field of Transactional Analysis, wrote that every child needs the certain knowledge of being loved by just ONE person in order to live a happy fulfilling life. My small Granny gave me that certainty.
Who gave it to you?
If my small granny could see me now
An afternoon among the women poem
Growing up in a white world
When people say genealogy is boring
Anger and Truth
Where do you come from?
The House on an Irish Hillside book review
Mammies for Mariage Equality
Aw go on, say YES
Homeless in Ireland
When wide sky opens poem
I love my work
Celtic New Year
This small house
Rhythm & Rest poem
The Hidden Self
The Lonely Road
Kerry Pride 2013
Letting the Light in after Loss
Letting go is hard
Pick up the phone
Her name was not Magdalene
Do what you love doing!
My small granny
Praise the child and boil the dishcloths
My invisible brother Michael
I don't want to be Irish anymore
Alone on Valentine's Day
I love my country but I am not blind
Truth no. 2
How we tell the Truth
From Clare to here
Mother's Day is bittersweet
I will not be part of that
No Blacks No Dogs No Irish
Thank you for the days
Baby Marion Howe
My Irish Identity
When my Mam was dying
Violence against women
Take back your power
Draw the line
My small granny and other stories