You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
Seven generations of women in my family have taught their daughters nothing useful. Instead of holding hands or seances
in red tents with incense and loving massage
they teach us to stare at our chins.
Instead of holding hands we wring our own.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
My Grandmother repeatedly tells me to take any medicine that a therapist might prescribe me.
My cousin takes me aside,
tells me she's proud of me,
tells me I should not feel ashamed to take any medications prescribed me.
We are seven generations of gossiped secrets.
People have said that you can't say "I love you, but..."
They cannot get over that I'm not a fat kid anymore,
they want to know how I did it.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
I walked to calm my hating voice into silence. The nimbus clouds blew quickly across the sky. I found a temple I did not know was there. Its garden of complex red and yellow flowers drew my attention to the porch, the sign above the door. My curiosity and I went in. I was given a tour during which I imitated the slow step and hushed voice of the guide. I took my shoes off at the entrance. I have always been present to others' rules.
Now I'm wishing to have not spent so much time doing the expected thing.
For the third time in a few weeks I was told about suffering ones own pain and not spreading it.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely
The world offers itself to your imagination
I have lost a solid grasp on hope. It comes, and blows away as swift as the clouds.
I am tired of my Aquarian search of the ideal but can never give it up.
There is a disease of fear eating my vibrancy.
No one has prescribed me medication and I'm thankful.
I want to be a wise woman, fearless as the witches; in the centuries of hate and power-mongering disguised as inquisition.
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
(the poetry of Mary Oliver, Wild Geese)