Mary Oliver

by Julie on April 27, 2008 · 1 comment


Just a few days ago, last Thursday evening, I was lucky, lucky, lucky…I got to experience Mary Oliver in person in San Rafael. It was my good friend Megan’s birthday and she invited me along with her.

Mary Oliver is an incredible poet, and having the opportunity to hear her read her own words was one of those amazing moments in life. She is simple yet profound in her ability to articulate the experience of being present to the beauty of life. I found her most engaging as she shared poems about her important relationships: the one with her late beloved partner of 40 years, and the other with her dog, Percy. She is a master of speaking from her heart, in writing and in person.

I am currently re-reading one of Mary’s latest books, Thirst. It is a beautiful collection written after the death of her partner, and opens to two new directions in her work: grief and her discovery of faith. This book looks at sorrow as an opening to the awakening of faith. It reflects my own experience of the profound way that grief can move a person into the depths of the heart, which can bring about an opening into a new, very personal, relationship with life. Pick it up and be prepared to be amazed.

Amy Lenzo, of the Beauty Dialogues, was there, too. We were hoping to meet each other in person, but it wasn’t to be. The place was packed, every seat sold in advance. You can read Amy’s account of the evening in her post in the Beauty Dialogues.

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Julie Jordan Scott December 14, 2009 at 8:28 am

I look to see if I have commented on this before or somehow we have discussed this before and I realize, no… yet… yes. “Thirst” is one of my most treasured books, let alone my favorite Mary Oliver collection. When I first pulled this off the shelf at a Flagstaff book store and opened to the dedication page and saw “memory of Molly Malone Cook” I literally fell to my knees, crying. Yes. At a Barnes and Noble. When I got my strength back I bought a cup of coffee, went to the coffee house there at B and N and read and sobbed and read and sobbed and read and sobbed.

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