The Discipline of Recognizing What’s True and Beautiful
This Mary Oliver poem carries a reminder I can use every day: look and listen all the time for whatever it is that will “kill me with delight,” that will “instruct me in joy and acclamation,” that will help me grow wise.
It takes no special talent to look around our world and point out things that are numbing, depressing, or death-dealing. But becoming keenly and consistently aware of what’s good, true, and beautiful demands a discipline: we must open our eyes, minds, and hearts, and keep them open.
As we open up, we begin to see beauty everywhere, not only in nature but in human nature. There’s a lot of bad news out there, but there’s a lot of good news as well. Pass the word and help keep hope alive!
“Mindful” by Mary Oliver Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle In the haystack of light. It is what I was born for— to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world— to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant— but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh, good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these— the untrimmable light of the world, the ocean’s shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?