Something had me take Mary Oliver’s “Red Bird” book of poetry off the bookcase shelf Friday, and I got around to opening and reading from it this morning. Her poem “Sometimes” has this as its fourth stanza:
“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
When I was the Housing Director in Provincetown for the Aids Support Group of Cape Cod – from the fall of 2007 to the fall of 2008 – I was working and drinking coffee and eating muffins and taking lunch breaks on the shore of Cape Cod Bay in the same town where Mary Oliver was living. We never met, though its likely we passed on a street or browsing in the library, or strolling over the sand. I’m just saying, being that close was pretty cool.
As for paying my best attention, and being astonished, and telling about it – that’s why I show up here every weekday.