The Journey by Mary Oliver

The Journey     by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver


Dragging my laptop to desk is like walking “the green mile”


But I had to. I needed something that accepts my thoughts as fast as I can think them, and I can’t write that fast. I have a lot to say but I’ve just been spinning in f’ing circles, outside of writing, with peripheral stuff that doesn’t matter. Shit, I should get back to my blog, as least it has spell-check. I swear to god, I could do this all day. Someday, one day I should try that, do that, sit in front of this thing all damn day. It’s just, I feel guilty, like I should be doing something else, be outside, or cleaning, or anything but this but it, this is so fucking god damn much fun. I read the other day that some (well-known) writer used to tie himself to his chair.


Oh Jaysus. I am giggling inside. I have waited so long I feel like a there’s a fucking volcano saying hahahaha inside me.   Oh dear lord, please hold my hand, please stand beside me, because I am so afraid.

Okay, well, that’s about all I got for now. Now that I’m past the fear here I am, moved over to my desk, and can’t think of anything else to say. Cheeeerist. I mean, I have suddenly and completely blanked out on why I want to be here and the reason I came. Son of a bitch. Was it something I said? Was it because I didn’t capitalize “lord”, Lord? Oh God. Well. I guess that’s it, then. I’ll just go sit down. But, first I’ll do the exercise from Boot-camp (from Writer’s Digest, online).

Dear writer’s block:

You’re an asshole. I can’t stand you. You are such a dick. You make me want to throw up. You are really mean. I wish you would go to hell and never bother anyone again. You are a phantom so I don’t even know why I am writing this letter. For all the people whom you have ever bothered I want to tell you that you can go suck it. Go suck a big one. I hope you choke on it.

Yours truly,

– S



God! Now, look what I did, by coming over to my desk! I made a big ass deal out of it and now I have nothing to say. I don’t get it. I’m not leaving. I can sit in front of this thing all day, I don’t have to be anywhere. I believe in myself. For me, this is the only way out, through. I wish I didn’t believe that but I do.

I remember the time I was watching Oprah when she said to one of her guests, I forget who, Movie star cry, movie star cry, meaning look up when your eyes are filling up with tears, so they don’t run down your face and ruin your makeup. It totally works.

After I get to my desk and get started, I wish I never had to be anywhere. I wish I could just sit here and talk about all the things I want to say, and all the things I wanted to do, and just be my own dumb therapist (look up, look up!)and witness,and have a nice tiny, tidy break-down, then back together again right here. That’s why I like drinking; it’s so convenient. You get to take a vacation without leaving home.



The other day a new psychiatrist asked me about my startle response. I doubled over in my chair, laughing. I told her my response was so high that I’d given my son a high startle response. It wasn’t funny, no. It’s horrific.

I am losing my mind and I don’t have the energy to save myself. I don’t think. Or at least, not the way I’m going.



God, that took a long time, getting back here. I’ve been almost nearly inert. God why does almost every thought I have run and hide when I sit down in front of this fucking thing, at my desk, to write? she wailed. God, she said through gritted teeth. Then she said, Because it’s fun and I make you laugh. And so I said, Wow, you should totally get over yourself. And she said, Don’t worry, I probably will sooner than you think. And that cracked her up and she felt better and wrote it down.

Before I forget, on May 5, Cinco De Mayo I said this really cool thing but forgot to Tweet it. I texted a couple of my friends and said, I love you a million avocados. But don’t steal it. Like, you can’t use it. I’m still using it. You can have it after I use it next year.

(I know this was long; (:?) just toss me when I become annoying.



I’m Here So My Own Head Won’t Kill Me

Hello out there!  Whee! I’m here on WordPress because as every writer knows writing can be is a lonely business.  Especially for an introvert like me.  And, even though the first reason (like I need a reason, for instance, to breath) I write is because I can’t not write, I’m also here because I write to be read.  And, I’m here to get better at all aspects of writing, including the discipline to sit my ass down and for-god’s-sake write. I can get a little weird from my self-imposed isolation.  I’m a divorced 57-year-old retired female with a few close friends (who are also on the introverted side), and a grown flew-the-coop son. I may go a couple of days without talking to anyone but the mailman and my cat.  I need other writers to “talk” to, a writing community.  You’re it. I want one of my poems in The New Yorker.  That’s also why I’m here. There, I said it. That’s my ultimate readership goal. Hey!  I have a plan, okay? That being said, I have to get around to writing a post about why I now refuse to read The New Yorker (the reason is socio-political). And I’m here to practice my writing, and get better.  For instance, I still struggle with semicolons; that fact makes me nuts. I’ve read how to use them, and the difference between them and colons and I still can’t get it.  At least on the one hand I feel so dense that it makes me laugh. I’m a writer trying to get better by writing, I don’t care how ungraceful I look while I’m doing it, and I need some help and some good company along the way.

I Can’t Stop Watching TED Talks

The last couple of days I’ve been watching TED Talks like I used to read books about writing. It was only through a concentrated physical and emotional effort that I finally pulled myself away and brought myself here.

When I quit writing for a few days, the hard-won ground I gain getting back in to the groove of writing, for the millionth time, disappears and I have to fight just that hard to get started again.  I know this happens, hundreds of others know this happens and yet still I, and maybe you, still do it.  Or, it still happens. Obviously it’d be easier to just keep writing.

This is just a small post.  It’s like an emergency-stop cord I had to pull to get out of numb, out of watching people doing what they love on the TED talks to being one. At least a bit. A bit.