Friday, September 19, 2008

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice...
~ Mary Oliver, from her poem "The Journey," collected in Dream Work


Only you can write the story that's yours to write. And write it you must, regardless of the voices, inner and outer, that cry out for you to stop, that claim they're trying to save you.

There is no salvation in stopping, in turning away, in listening to those voices, however sensible they seem.

Your only salvation is the word that must emerge from the prison of your fear and into the light of your potential. This word, and now this one. And now this one.

One word following the next and the next, crashing through what you think you know -- about yourself and the world -- and carrying you into the Kingdom of the New, that wondrous realm beyond your imagining that has been waiting for you since the beginning of time.

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...
~ "The Journey"


Photo of Mary Oliver and her dog, Percy: Beacon Press

5 comments:

unwriter said...

Love that poem. I've only been writing a couple of years, but I want my voice to be heard. I have many essays and articles especially on wordpress that I hope can change at least one person. It is my words, said my way but I feel these are words of importance. If interested visit my blog,
http://unwriter1.wordpress.com/
ron

Mark David Gerson said...

If they're your heart words said your way, Ron, they can't help but change the world. I say that because even if no one else ever reads them, those words begin by changing you. And as that changed you moves out into the world, you can't help but change everyone your life touches.

Keep the words flowing!
Mark David

unwriter said...

thank you. That is how I feel also.

ron

Marvin D. Wilson said...

This post cut through to my heart. Reminded me of the emotional turmoil I went through writing my Memoir, I ROMANCED THE STONE (Memoirs of a Recovering Hippie) - God told me to write it - it was the first book I ever wrote and I HAD to write it. And I've been that way ever since. When the WORD comes, the Word has to come out.

Mark David Gerson said...

In The Voice of the Muse, I quote author Madeleine L'Engle as saying, "I cannot possibly tell you how I came to write A Wrinkle in Time. It was simply a book I had to write. I had no choice."

A Wrinkle in Time was then rejected by 26 publishers before it was published. It proved to be L'Engle's masterpiece, winning the Newbery Medal as best children’s book of 1963 and selling, so far, more than eight million copies through more than 60 printings.