I USED TO THINK. . .
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 did 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 heir 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.
I love the above poem by Mary Oliver and it gave birth to my own piece, below:
I USED TO THINK
He used to have deeply middle-class values,
He used to think he would buy the fancy sports car
He would buy the mansion He would marry a beautiful woman
But, now it's changed.
Nobody's buying houses in Atherton They're going to Starwood and getting laid by hookers.
She used to think that love had to be all-consuming or it was not love at all; She spent too many nights wishing he and whoever else she was besotted with at the moment would call
A boyfriend from the past who lingered like a cold you can't shake off He didn't actually break her heart
They just reached their expiry date.
But now she's relieved-- to have this empty place in her heart where once there was worry And her heart, never broken, is fully mended.
I used to think how wonderful it would be to be rich and famous; For the paparazzi to shout my name in droves, as I waved a gloved hand, a be-ringed finger or threw a sweeping glance under my over-sized sunglassses
I used to wish for the bigger, for the unattainable things.
But now, all I want to do is-- hunker down on the pillow of my own good life and be still.