To live in this world

Years ago, during a period of grieving, I sent this excerpt from Mary Oliver’s poem “In Blackwater Woods” to my father:

To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Another period of grieving is upon us. When I read Mary Oliver’s words, my heart is momentarily lighter.

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.