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  • Denise Frakes

Not Quite Perfect Yet?

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

May 1, 2022

Not quite perfect?

You can't rush a good poem...or life. I met Mary Oliver on a women's pilgrimage to Iona Scotland. Our leaders, Gretchen and Lesley, read Mary's poems there. I met her again when I helped facilitate retreats at Harmony Hill.

In the beginning, Mary felt like a poet I should like. I should like poetry and I should "get" her work. But I didn't. Maybe it wasn't time, or my mind was too busy to settle in on a poem. I don't know. And then one day...a sort of lightbulb went off. Each week, I gather quotes, poems and sayings to share with my clutter clearing circle. It's been during these last few years, I started to feel Mary's poems. Who knows why one day a spark hits and we wake up. This is how a good poem is. I'm sharing with you one of my favorites. When I feel less than...not quiet half perfect, I think of this poem and smile. Read this poem, slowly. Tuck it into into your back pocket for those days when you feel less than stellar. And know there is a world of imperfect souls out there- kindred spirits of imperfection.

Happy Travels my friend,


Messenger "My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird- equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums. Here the clam deep in speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work. which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished. The phoebe, the delphinium. The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture. Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here, which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart and those body-clothes, a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam, telling them all, over and over, how it is that we live forever." Mary Oliver


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