The Growth in the Dark

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

This time of year throws a variety of curveballs at us as beings; sunless days, frigid temperatures, feelings of isolation, illness and longing to be in another place. It can seem like a perfect void from creativity and happiness.

In actuality, this time of year can be a beautiful time to reflect and appreciate a kind of stillness. I think of the times when I’ve come across an amazing book, heard about a film or meet a colleague I wanted to collaborate with yet were unable to connect with that inspiration at that time. Now is the perfect time to find that book, see that film or connect with that individual. Now is the time to percolate and contemplate that which brings a spark up in you that could later be a larger flame within your own story.

Mary Oliver, the American poet who won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, passed away January 17th, 2019, and left behind an amazing collection of thoughts, reflections and perspectives through her poetry. While poets are not often thought to be a modern day inspiration, Mary’s work is inspiring, filled with reality and genuine humanism. If you’re intrigued to learn more about Mary Oliver and her vast work, check out these sources:

Mary Oliver’s podcast interview with Krista Tippet of On Being

“Mary Oliver: Listening to the World.” On Being, 17 January 2019, https://onbeing.org/programs/mary-oliver-listening-to-the-world-jan2019/.

Review of Mary Oliver’s book Upstream on Brain Pickings
“The Third Self: Mary Oliver on Time, Concentration, the Artist’s Task, and the Central Commitment of the Creative Life.” Brainpickings, 12 October 2016, by Maria Popova, https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/10/12/mary-oliver-upstream-creativity-power-time/

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