Life-saving poem


There are a few things that pack a wallop in your life – like this poem by Mary Oliver. Whether you’re in a deep, dark place and need a winch to pull you out, or you’re “breathing just a little and calling it a life,” this poem calls us to be true to ourselves, claim our lives and live it in our own skins…in our own way.

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

recognised 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.

                                              Mary Oliver

I remember reading this poem  as I took my first steps during my departure with the corporate work world, better known as my “corporate recovery.” Since,  Mary Oliver has spoken to me often in her sweet, wise and melodic voice.  I hope she speaks to you, as well. 

Be brave, dear friends, and claim your voices. (click to Tweet)

With Deepest Respect,



Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams,  helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives. Writer, Artist, Coach         
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