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Mindfulness Meditation

Writing My Elegy

Once again, drawn to Mary Oliver. I was thinking about faith this morning, so Googled “faith Mary Oliver.” In doing so I found a poem of hers, published in 2015, titled “Leaves and Blossoms Along the Way.” It struck me as instructions for whoever gets to compose an elegy for her. Perhaps even an elegy for herself?

What will your elegy say?  How do you want to be remembered?  More importantly, how will you live your life today that will inform whoever it is that gets to write your elegy?

Today’s meditation was centered around a mindful reading of this poem. Beneath the video and audio you’ll find the poem itself.

If you’re John Muir you want trees to

live among. If you’re Emily, a garden

will do.

Try to find the right place for yourself.

If you can’t find it, at least dream of it.

                                 •

When one is alone and lonely, the body

gladly lingers in the wind or the rain,

or splashes into the cold river, or

pushes through the ice-crusted snow.

Anything that touches.

                                 •

God, or the gods, are invisible, quite

understandable. But holiness is visible,

entirely.

                                 •

Some words will never leave God’s mouth,

no matter how hard you listen.

                                 •

In all the works of Beethoven, you will

not find a single lie.

                                 •

All important ideas must include the trees,

the mountains, and the rivers.

                                 •

To understand many things you must reach out

of your own condition.

                                 •

For how many years did I wander slowly

through the forest. What wonder and 

glory I would have missed had I ever been

in a hurry!

                               •

Beauty can both shout and whisper, and still

it explains nothing

                                 •

The point is, you’re you, and that’s for keeps.

By Jim Walsh

I am a Pastoral Counselor in private practice in Wilmington DE. I teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction as part of my work as a therapist.

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