Over the past few weeks I’ve been sending a poem every Monday to a dear friend who was in need of support. Other people offered to do her laundry or cleaning …. I sent her poems! She has been gracious enough to say they were much appreciated, and I do want to believe poetry and other carefully considered writing can bring consolation and comfort.
The weeks have passed, my friend still needs support and lots of loving, but I thought I would now post them here and on Facebook to widen the reach and share things that comfort and also challenge me.
Here’s one I find very challenging! I love my ‘things’, they tell stories, have memories embedded in them, make my house beautiful and give the illusion of identity and safety.
But they also weigh me down and limit my freedom and give me a false sense of who I really am.
I would like to enjoy ‘living lighter’ while I’m still here, and relieve my daughters of the task of getting rid of it all when I’m gone. But I am early to this thought, so it’s a work in progress! In the meantime, here’s the poem. Let me know your responses:
Storage, by Mary Oliver
When I moved from one house to another
there were many things I had no room
for. What does one do? I rented a storage
space. And filled it. Years passed.
Occasionally I went there and looked in,
but nothing happened, not a single
twinge of the heart.
As I grew older the things I cared
about grew fewer, but were more
important. So one day I undid the lock
and called the trash man. He took
I felt like the donkey when
his burden is finally lifted. Things!
Burn them, burn them! Make a beautiful
fire! More room in your heart for love,
for the trees! For the birds who own
nothing—the reason they can fly.