Saturday, November 7, 2015

Unsettled and Changing

People wish to be settled.
It is only as far as they are unsettled that there is any hope for them. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life
which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Tell me, 
what is it you plan to do
with your one wild, precious life? 
Mary Oliver

We are born to fulfill a role in this world and then, hopefully, leave the world better than it was before we took our few precious breaths and then departed. Sometimes, we are thrust into these roles; sometimes, we fail to listen to our heart; and, sometimes, we flow with the river around us because it demands so little. 

But the day comes when, as Mary Oliver writes in "The Journey": 

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

 As for me, I am looking for the stars...  What about you?


  1. Love that quote by Thoreau, Matty. It says what I always try to tell others, you have to choose money or your life. It's always a tug of war. And what you need in one stage of your life, may not what you need in another. I think it helps that as you get older, your wants become less and less. Perhaps it is written in the Divine Plan? I believe that we all truly know what we need deep in our heart. Just have to have the courage to go out and get it.


    1. I agree with you, Jane. I knew what I wanted when I was 18, but fell for cultural pressures to be more aligned with society. While I have always been a little bit of a rebel, now I feel it more than ever. It is liberating, breathtaking, and inspiring... And scary as standing on a high boulder above a valley and looking down ... <3

  2. I was just talking to my daughter (who is now in her late 30s) that I didn't even really know who I was until I hit that age. I'd have to say with each decade after that (and now hitting 60), God is still cheering me on to be more and try more (but not by doing more!).

    1. I have to say, at 30 I felt my very best healthwise. However, I was not sure what I wanted from life. It was shortly after that I returned to college. While it was a good thing, I wonder what would have been my life if I had followed my bliss when I was 18....

  3. For me what I should do, just bubbles out of me without me even noticing. And I could not stop it, anymore than I could stop the sun from rising xox Clarice

    1. Bubbles is the best word to describe you, Clarice! <3 You are so full of joy and life!

  4. Oh, this is wonderful, this poem by Mary Oliver. This is the first time I have encountered it, and it speaks to me where I am right now. This is so true!

    1. Hi Sarah! Welcome! I discovered this poem when I was in graduate school. It one of my favorites!

  5. I'm not even sure what I'm looking for - I just know there is something better and more soul satisfying out there than what the world tells me I need to find. The good news is that I am getting braver and stronger in my search.

    1. I know what you mean, Sandy. Sometimes I think I have been lied to by life! LOL For me, it is becoming doing what makes me happy in the morning. I had a friend who had cancer years ago. She said every morning she got up and quilted for 20 minutes; she loved it so much that she would call in sick from work saying that she was "too sick to come in." Eventually, she realized that doing what made her happy was better than going to an office and so she quit her job and started teaching quilting. She lived 20 years longer than she had her prognosis! Here's to our journey!

  6. What an inspiring post, makes me want to jump to my feet. I am going to take somewhat of a plunge this year, and those negative voices and that tug at my ankles...I know it well. But I, like you, am going to keep looking for those stars. Pam in Norway xx

    1. Hi Pam! So glad you dropped in! We inspire each other! Have a joyous peek at those stars!


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!