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“Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Words of inspiration from the poet Mary Oliver.

Photo by Brad Clinesmith (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Perhaps this might be, as American author Joan Didion phrases it, a “bankrupt morning” where you wake up, devoid of inspiration for your creative projects.

Learn more about Mary Oliver and see her complete bibliography.

Mary Oliver and Percy Photo © 2005 by Rachel Giese Brown.

Mary Oliver and Percy. (Photo © 2005 by Rachel Giese Brown.)

In honor of National Poetry Month, I’ve got some inspiration in a very short recommended read from the poet Mary Oliver. In her poem The Summer Day, she mediates on creation and attention, and in so doing, urges us to seize possibility with a beautifully simple question:

Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Listen to Mary Oliver read The Summer Day:

And now, Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

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    1. Very high goals. I concur with all. I hopped over to your blog site and browsed a bit. Found areas of interest to me. I was surprised to see your first favorite song “My Way.” Seems to contradict this comment. Also surprised that you were not a big music fan. But I think you would understand my choice of songs – two of which are songs my groom sang to me in 1953. I’m also blogging 101 so maybe I’ll see you more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What we want in life doesn’t always go hand in hand with what life dealt us, being said that I disagree about My Way. We always do things our own way whether following career paths or helping others; unless of course if one is set to join the majority and go with the flow. Goodluck with blogging U.

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  1. I haven’t read this yet, but when I have a rare “bankrupt morning” I feel very lost, and have to do something non-creative, like clean up! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That was me yesterday! With the suggestions of FB friends and loved ones, I was able to release some creative energy and breathe more clearly.
    I want to find comfort in not turning into the person I always dreamed of being, and loving how I evolved into who I am today…I want to find my health again and peace of mind…and just love till it hurts…

    Liked by 5 people

  3. This is a great question and also a sign that I should get off here and get back to accomplishing my own goal. Which is finishing my first novel!

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  4. Well it looks like what I’m doing with my life is as about as wild as internet show business can get. I’m doing a morality play with lot’s of humour which melds a ton of spooky shows and movies that I didn’t invent. It’s funny but barely anyone can say anything what with the fandom politics and being fragmented by the new internet’s lack of discussion. What a nightmare. What once was a passion is now a slow-moving calling. Ah, to nurture the talent… What shall I do? *sigh*

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  5. I want to serve the purpose of my existence- To please. Whom???

    As a kid, we try pleasing my parents and teachers; as a teenager we please our friends; as an adult โ€“ourself (with our fancies) . We love to compete and win. Appreciation/flattery makes us happy and confident. Still things go out of hand โ€“ we get upset as we canโ€™t do anything to make a difference. Then where do we turn?

    Why donโ€™t we hold on to Him in all walks of life? Yes, life is a short test. Pleasing Him should be our ultimate goal. How? By learning and adhering to His commands in all walks of life. This could in turn also give us a wider perspective and peaceful heart.

    I wanted to do more and have a more purposeful life. I want people who had been like me to know how helpful Quran could be. I write with the hope that the message reaches many. Hopefully my articles have a long life.

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  6. When I am well…

    I will never say tax bills are boring,
    I will never complain at you snoring,
    I will know rainbows aren’t for ignoring,
    When I am well

    I will make plans to cross the Atlantic,
    I will celebrate haircuts gigantic,
    I’ll be giving, forgiving, if frantic,
    When I am well

    I will thank God in church on a Sunday,
    I will sing stuck in traffic on Monday,
    I will learn how to make cakes rise, one day
    When I am well

    My brain process, that would be slower,
    My confidence, certainly lower,
    But wind it up, this girls a goer,
    Now I am well

    As the statistics head towards a time when more people will survive cancer than die of it, I am inspired by what might happen in all that borrowed time? It has to make for an emotionally rich, if physically weakened, outlook. I have often bargained with God and certainly would now cheerfully have a thousand sleepless nights… Sometimes it is like winning a competition, others frustratingly confronting never being the same again, for some, time to conquer the world!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. As a cancer survivor, I so appreciate what you have written here. Thanks for posting it. I feel like I have been saved from immediate death by cancer for a purpose. This question will be used to keep me mindful of being a good steward of all my days, as without a doubt, I now know that they come as gifts. My days were always gifts before, I just was not so acutely aware of it. Best wishes, Emily

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  7. Loved this! I’ve learned so much during the first few days of Writing 101. Especially excited about the dozens of music artists I never heard of. It’s a big world out there…

    All the best

    e

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s a great question Mary! …like yourself …it’s all about creativity! …for me it’s writing gospel songs, guitar, painting oils most of which are imaginary and prophetic painting, creating garments for self, interior design but not as a profession and working to develop poetry, but, my first love is the creativity of the Lord to be a testimony of His love, mercy, and grace to those without!
    Personally I can’t see any other way to live …can you!?!
    I dedicate this little song I wrote “to you!” …if you wish to use it or put music to it, please do!

    Oh Hallelujah! Oh Glory be!
    Jesus came and rescued me!
    He bought me through the blood He shed
    He gave me life instead of death
    If you but ask Him to set you free
    He will heal your wounds as He did for me!
    Oh Halleluja! Oh Glory be!
    Jesus came and rescued me! …repeat!

    God bless you Mary with the desire of your heart in Jesus name amen! Sonja in Canada!

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  9. Thank You for sharing Mary Oliver. I’m not too familiar with her, but that will soon change.

    I am reading up on her now and I just love that she is such of closed off person. My kind of person.

    Thanks again ๐Ÿ˜‰ She’s amazing

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  10. Great prompt. But our life is very short just like that of the grasshopper, and I wornder, is there really time for creativity? Could it be that I got lost in my uneffective projects while life – the real thing – was flowing past me? And it’s already over.

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  11. Live life to the full, with love, honesty and laughter, with friends, family and new people that you meet. Thanks for making me smile this morning and introducing Mary Oliver to me. I hope for less bankrupt mornings and more with a smile on my face.

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