Posts Tagged "Mary Oliver"

Then I remember, death comes before the rolling away of the stone

Posted by on Jul 9, 2023 in Blog | 6 comments

It was a throwaway line in a talk by a speaker whose name I have now forgotten: “We feel more moral, more right, more cheaply than ever before.” It was a comment on the shrill nature of much public discourse, and how easily we feel moral because we have expressed a noble sentiment, though expressing it has cost us nothing. Although not necessarily the intention of the speaker, it set me thinking about spiritual and moral formation, and how we learn and grow in life. And then I stumbled upon this magnificent conclusion to Mary Oliver’s poem At Black River “Then I...

Read More

What to do with your one wild and precious life: Alcuin’s Answer

Posted by on May 29, 2022 in Blog | 2 comments

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do With your one wild and precious life?” asks Mary Oliver in her poem The Summer Day. It’s a haunting question. Psalm 90:10 tells us that “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty if our strength endures.” In the end it is not the number that counts, but what makes up our “wild and precious life”. Recently I have been thinking about Alcuin of York (735-804) and how, in his own way, he provides an answer to Oliver’s question. Born in a period misleadingly called the “Dark Ages” (it is...

Read More