Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, creativity and health, Emotional Health, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

From the Words of Mary Oliver

I got out of work early the other night and decided after my knitting ritual to head out to Barnes and Noble.  I hadn’t been to the store in a long time and decided to venture out and see what they had in available.  I went through the magazines, the usual categories of books that I am most attracted to and of course the journals…I love journals.  I started to walk out the door and the header “Poetry” caught my eye.  I meandered over to the Poetry section and of course went in search of a book by my favorite poet Mary Oliver.

I found a book, opened to the first poem and decided I had to buy the book without looking at any other poem; that’s how loudly the poem spoke to me.  When I got home I found a short poem I’d like to share with you because I found it comforting, thought-provoking, and of course beautiful.

We Shake With Joy

We shake with joy, we shake with grief.

What a time they have, these two

housed as they are in the same body.

It’s amazing to think that the mind can hold two emotions simultaneously.  We don’t often think that the body has to also hold these emotions at the same time.  What happens in your body when you hold what might be considered conflicting emotions?  How does it impact your health and healing?

I often find that they compliment each other.  Having the capacity to hold these emotions that are both intense brings me to life.  It reinforce the power of our emotions and that is life affirming.  Are you facing a time of conflicting emotions or body sensations?  Let me know what your feelings are about the poem by Mary Oliver.

I’ll meet you at the bookstore!


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

One thought on “From the Words of Mary Oliver

  1. I also love Mary Oliver……..I am thankful this Thanksgiving that you are blogging again! Ha…Keep up the good work that you do.

    Did we sleep long? Is it this life still, or
    is it the next life, already? Are we gone, then?
    Are we there?

    How will we ever know?

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