I Worried

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

I Worried
-- Mary Oliver

I 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,

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 gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

Such a good point. How would we plan to correct the flow of the rivers and the tilt of the earth and all the rest? For me it wouldn’t be planned; it would just show up as resistance, a hardening of the jaw to inform nature I’m not having it, or possibly aggression, a full body force of will to get the world in line, when all the while a slight smile would soften everything, would open the throat and unlock the jaw and let the apology flow like birdsong or at least allow for the temporary dementia of my worry to pass.

What do you do when the worry arrives? Where does it go in your body? And have you learned to use your body as the instrument of your peace?