A Pretty Song | Mary Oliver
Photo taken by DAF on our 56th wedding anniversary, 2021
Here’s yet another wise poem from Mary Oliver. This one hits close to home. My comments follow.
A Pretty Song
From the complications of loving you
I think there is no end or return.
No answer, no coming out of it.
Which is the only way to love, isn’t it?
This isn’t a playground, this is
earth, our heaven, for a while.
Therefore I have given precedence
to all my sudden, sullen, dark moods
that hold you in the center of my world.
And I say to my body: grow thinner still.
And I say to my fingers, type me a pretty song.
And I say to my heart: rave on.
© 2006 by Mary Oliver
Published by Beacon Press in Thirst, p. 22
To love a partner until death do us part is costly. Partly because there’s no getting away from what happens along the way from here to there. No easy exits. Just one unexpected complication after another with which partners must deal. Even when they decide to go their so-called ‘separate’ ways.
And yet, given the sudden twists and turns of life, what rises to the top is indisputable. Especially as the end of life creeps closer every day.
This morning D is having some not-so-wonderful tests to find out what’s going on in his heart. Not the heart that loves me, but the heart that will one day stop beating no matter how much he loves me or I love him.
Mary Oliver’s poem above is about the loss of her life partner, what it’s like to go on living without her, and what it takes get through the ups and downs of grief. Not a pretty picture, but an invitation to another way of loving.
Praying your day is filled with opportunities to let your partner and/or best friends know how much you love them. Now, instead of later.
Thank you for stopping by. On the whole, I think I’m becoming less distressed by the ups and downs of life. Then again….
©Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 May 2023
Photo taken by DAFraser at Longwood Gardens, 2021