On a bad day the quote by Mary McCarthy on the tag in this photo bothers me. "We are the hero of our own story." Today, I am ashamed to say, I don't want that to be true because I am not reliably heroic. No I am often feeble, shy, procrastinating, stale and uninspired. Shouldn't someone be sent to save you on days like this? Must you rely upon yourself always? That seems unwise.
I spend so much of my time alone now, that I cannot count on anyone to cheer me up in person. But what I do have is the written word. What I do have is Mary Oliver. And where there is Mary, there is always hope that the tide will turn, that you will suddenly fall out of apathy and into life again.
Some Questions You Might Ask
Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?
Who has it, and who doesn’t?
I keep looking around me.
The face of the moose is as sad
as the face of Jesus.
The swan opens her white wings slowly.
In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.
One question leads to another.
Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
Like the eye of a hummingbird?
Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
Why should I have it, and not the anteater
who loves her children?
Why should I have it, and not the camel?
Come to think of it, what about the maple trees?
What about the blue iris?
What about all the little stones, sitting alone in the moonlight?
What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?
What about the grass?
So you see, everything will be alright.
P.S Afternoon, and the rain has started again. Just now, sitting on the couch with a cup of tea, lyrics from a Regina Spektor song popped into my head. "I'm the hero of this story, I don't need to be saved." And then my feeling of oppression rose above me like mist. Isn't it odd how one tiny moment can help you transcend yourself? My whole life words have saved me.