why worry?

DSC_0009I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing; even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing,
and I gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning
and sang.

~Mary Oliver

Sarah Manguso

Just finished the 2nd of two wonderful books by Ms. Manguso.

The Two Kinds of Decay, after Ongoingness

From the end (don’t worry; it’s not a spoiler kind of thing):

“…Nothing happens in a moment. Nothing happens quickly. If you think something’s happened quickly, you’re looking at only a part of it….

and then, just a little bit later:

There are two kinds of decay: mine and everyone else’s.

This is the usual sort of book about illness. Someone gets sick, someone gets well.

Those who claim to write about something larger and more significant than the self sometimes fail to comprehend the dimensions of a self.

Most people consider their own suffering a widely applicable model, and I am no exception.

This is suffering’s lesson: pay attention. The important part might come in a form you do not recognize.

You might not know to love it.

But to pay attention is to love everything.

To see the future as brightness.

Everything that happens is the last time it happens. We see things only as their own fatal brightness, and there is nothing after that brightness.

You can’t learn from remembering. You can’t learn from guessing.

You can learn only from moving forward at the rate you are moved, as brightness, into brightness.”

Let someone love you, just the way you are — as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are. To believe that you must hide all of the parts of you that are broken out of fear that someone is incapable of loving what is less than perfect is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering through a broken window and illuminating a dark room.

~Marc Hack

I don’t know who Marc Hack is, but this makes a heck of a lot of sense to me.

And, while you’re at it, love yourself at least a little too.

 

Oh, to remember

from Sarah, at Redamancy Lit.

“Pick a point, create a purpose, and move (ever slowly sometimes) towards it. Every day is the right day to reassess, make a map, rally the stakeholders to your own life, show up for someone else, and build capacity to be a better . . . human being. This is why love matters most. This is why you’re alive. This is why life is so painfully short and your sucky attitude is a waste of fine time.  Break down the barriers you’ve built between you and the love of that god, that man, that woman, that child, and that person inside yourself you bully. . .Stand tall, breathe deep, smile softly, and forgive yourself for all that shit you won’t let go. Now is the time to put it down because it’s stupid heavy and you have a light heart. . .Be magnanimous, even when they don’t deserve it. Because you don’t sometimes, either. We’re all recipients of everyday grace and fear of hell isn’t what gets you into heaven. “

She wrote it for New Years, as a resolution of sorts. I think if it’s worth resolving on January 1 of any year, it’s worth resolving every day. If only I could remember. I actually read something the other day, and of course, being me, can’t remember who wrote it, much like the above: You throw an anchor into the future you want for yourself, and then pull yourself along by the chain. It doesn’t mention anything about forgiving yourself for all the crap you’re leaving behind, but I guess that could be implied.