Mary Oliver

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Sarah emailed to invite me to go along to see Mary Oliver at Smith College. I can't believe the day is here. Tonight I will get to hear Mary Oliver speak her poems. I am so excited.

I only became interested in poetry a few years ago. Hand in hand with pursuit of my fine art photography came a deep appreciation and connection to Mary Oliver's work.

She writes so beautifully about nature and even loss/grief. As I worked through my grief of losing my mother, I found deep solace in her words.

I wonder if anyone will look at me twice when I walk in with my extra large tissue box. I am certain I will be moved to tears at least once:)

Do you have a favorite Mary Oliver poem?

This is one of mine:

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice - - -

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

'Mend my life!'

each voice cried.

But you didn't stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations - - -

though their melancholy

was terrible.It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice,

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do - - - determined to save

the only life you could save.


Final Piece from Amanda Bontecou on Vimeo.

It has been a long time since I have had the chance to talk with my friend Letha. I just saw this amazing video of her over on Denise's blog and it brought me to humble and grateful tears. Thank you Letha for what you are doing. It is a wonderful and amazing thing.


Old friend

I have been missing this blog lately. It has been like a pestering child type of missing. One that I keep trying to quiet, but it just won't be quieted. Life has been so different the past 6 months or so, work, work, work with loving my boys in all the spots in between.

I find myself craving poetry, a walk in the woods with my macro lens, and a week with no obligations. I have made so many beautiful connections through blogging here, but sadly all of them are hours and hours if not a full day trip on airplanes, away from me. I came to a place where to really give my photography business a shot, I needed to redirect my energies to building my business offline. But oh how I have missed the connection to other creative souls. I have been putting out a call to the universe for creative friends here on the east coast. Ones I can meet out in the sunshine and laugh with in person. Just because my heart so aches when so many of my dear blog friends live so far away, and I cannot stop thinking of the book The art of fear where they talk about the need for a creative community.

The past week it seems the universe has been listening, and it inspired me to come here and dip my toe back into this lovely place.

This past week I met up with Sarah Ahearn for a photo shoot. She lives only 1hr and 45 minutes from me, eeeeeeeeeee! I knew from emails that she was a doll. I even thought maybe we would get along. But I really had no idea that I would fall into friendship with her instantly. I asked her what music she liked and she started listing off all the music I love! We danced around her studio, talked, and roamed around her neighborhood, we sat on the floor looking through her art and talked about life, especially life as an artist...I could barely pull myself away from her delightfulness, except for the promise that I could hop in my car and visit her for part of a day just on a whim. What gloriousness!

And then... this evening at my sons parent night at school, I couldn't help but eye a new parent. I loved her white crochet bag with green and orange stitching, and that it matched just a little-just enough- with her green striped sweater and her orange accented sneaks. I am a sucker for anything green and orange and perfectly mismatched matching colorful combos. I try to do this myself but fear I fail miserably.

At the break I said hello and in a matter of minutes learned she has a son that is the same age as mine, in the same class, she is an artist and a blogger, and is in need of a photograph of herself for her new book. How cool is that?

I would love to hear how the universe has been listening to you lately.

So in the spirit of new friends and creative whispers I leave you with a randomly chosen Mary Oliver poem:

"The Faces of Deer" by Mary Oliver

When for too long I don't go deep enough into the woods to see them, they begin to enter my dreams. Yes, there they are, in the pinewoods of my inner life. I want to live a life full of modesty and praise. Each hoof of each animal makes the sign of a heart as it touches then lifts away from the ground. Unless you believe that heaven is very near, how will you find it? Their eyes are pools in which one would be content, on any summer afternoon, to swim away through the door of the world. Then, love and its blessing. Then: heaven.