Settle the horses

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You know the anger and frustration you feel when you lose a document you’ve written but not saved? I just had the same experience only much more crushing. I had been reading this book aloud and recording it but had only paused the recording – not saved – when I was about two hours into what would have been four hours of reading (to complete one long – very long – chapter). The computer restarted. I lost everything. Now I have to go back and repeat this stuff again, and it feels very painful to think about.

Like so many things today (inauguration day in America). Avoid avoid avoid.

Almost daily now, especially needing the calm and the avoidance, I come back to “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver.

The lines: “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.”

I really disliked this poem when I was younger, when teachers would force it on us, year after year, and it never really had the chance to sink in. That is to say, I never gave it a chance to sink in. Now older, more reflective, I think of this letting “the soft animal of your body love what it loves”, and it has deeper resonance and meaning. How simple sounding but so hard to actually do.

Settle the horses that so eagerly and anxiously want to bolt thunderously away. Advice from all sides, every day, every source: Give it time.

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