Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Whoever coined the phrase, "You can't win 'em all" certainly understood life.  You may recall, Gentle Reader, that I wrote a few posts ago about an idea I had for a piece incorporating a Mary Oliver poem.  Alas, the artist declines permission to use her work in non-literary situations, so it's back to the drawing board.  Sigh.  I am understandably disappointed.  It's a beautiful poem, based on one of Jesus' miracles, and it tells the story by allusion, with overtones of mystery and a sort of contemplative encouragement:


Why wonder about the loaves and the fishes?
If you say the right words, the wine expands.
If you say them with love
and the felt ferocity of that love
and the felt necessity of that love,
the fish explode into many.
Imagine him, speaking,
and don't worry about what is reality,
or what is plain, or what is mysterious.
If you were there, it was all those things.
If you can imagine it, it is all those things.
Eat, drink, be happy.
Accept the miracle.
Accept, too, each spoken word
spoken with love.

- Mary Oliver, from Why I Wake Early: New Poems - Beacon Press, Boston, 2004

Read it aloud.  Roll out the words on your tongue.  Taste them in your mouth.  What do you see?

I have been given permission to use the poem as inspiration -- just not to use the text directly in the piece (which is what I wanted to do).  We shall see what God does with the idea now.  Meanwhile, I am working on something else.

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