11.22.12 Count Your Blessings

Writing 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Top 790 xxx
artist's medium
I found this perfectly intact specimen of Ganoderma applanatum on a tree near our house recently. This hard, woody bracket fungus is commonly known as the "artist's conk" because when the smooth surface of its underside is rubbed or scratched, it changes from light to dark brown, producing visible lines and shading. Mine was already a bit dry, but I pried it off the tree and was able to inscribe it with Mary Oliver's beautiful poem, a permanent reminder of the healing power of the natural world.
Side 790 xxx
attachment issues
The artist's conch is a wood-decay fungus that consumes both dead heartwood and live sapwood, and is a common cause of the death of many trees, including beech, poplar, horse chestnut, maple and oak. You can almost feel in the picture above the intensity with which it clings to the tree.
Plain 790 xxx
blank slate
The surface of mine had dried to a firm putty grey. I used the sharp tip of a long screw for the inscription. It was a painstaking process which reminded me that one of the things I am most grateful for—especially now, with the first half of my life behind me—is time. Time to think, to ponder, to dream. Time to love, to learn, to create. But most of all, time to simply be.
Nail 790 xxx
write on
On this Thanksgiving day, I remember those who are no longer with me: the detached, the departed, the dead. I think of all those whom I treasure, the many blessings of love and friendship that sustain me through good times and bad. I feel lucky to stride out into the woods, inhaling the clean air; to hunker down in my cozy cottage; to inhale the steam from a bowl of nourishing soup; to hold the hand of a good man. Let's count our blessings today. Thank you for being among mine.

Happy Thanksgiving. xo


beautiful words for the day xo
stephanie on November 22, 2012 at 9:18 am —
And for every day...xo
laura on November 22, 2012 at 11:05 am —
Beautiful. I am so grateful for you and the positive influence you've had on my health.
Mily on November 22, 2012 at 10:47 am —
So happy to be on this long journey together!
laura on November 22, 2012 at 11:05 am —
Oh Laura, what a beautiful poem and presentation. Your gift Are your words. Thanks for sharing on this day. You made mine.
Donna Eble on November 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm —
Wishing you a season of much joy!
laura on November 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm —
Happy Abundant Thanksgiving to you Laura -
Karen on November 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm —
Thank you, friend, and the same to you.
laura on November 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm —
Lovely post Laura. One must never stop being thankful for all we have. Happy Thanksgiving.
Rob on November 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm —
Thanks, Rob! I hope things are going well with your new home. xo
laura on November 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm —
Love Mary's words and yours and the poem of a life you've created and shared with us. Wishing you and G a wonderful Thanksgiving. XO
Suzinn on November 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm —
Back atcha, Lee! xo
laura on November 22, 2012 at 9:44 pm —
As far as I am concerned,Mary Oliver 's words cannot compare to your emotional prose!
Adah Nicklin on November 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm —
That's high praise, Adah! So nice to know you're out there.
laura on November 22, 2012 at 9:45 pm —
no surprise to either of us that for years this poem (a paper version) has been tacked up in my closet, where I see it every day. Blessings to you!
janet on November 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm —
This is one of the most creative things I've ever seen. And the poem's not too shabby either. :)
Pauline on November 26, 2012 at 9:49 am —