You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
— Mary Oliver
Friday Five Favourites:
Guest starring: ME
Here’s a new segment. First up, this is my own personal list of favourites, just to set the tone. Next week I will include the list of special guest star (friend)… stay tuned.
1) Roast chicken with gravy and veg on a Sunday night.
My favourite recipe is not dissimilar from this Jamie Oliver method. Boiling the lemon is the key!
2) Shabby old penguin classic copy of The Dud Avocado
I love this book. I recently bought a beautifully designed, re-release hardcover as my old paperback is falling apart. Despite the beauty of the fancy new edition, it is the shabby old one from 1960 that I love the best. “Basically, if you were to set Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady near the Sorbonne, untangle the sentences and add more slapstick, sex and champagne cocktails, you’re getting close.” – Rosecrans Baldwin discusses the book on NPR.
3) Corner of my dining room
Including a weird old 60s print that belonged to my grandmother (artist unknown), our painted cabinet from Tibet, SONOS speaker (which would be on my deserted island list), plants that I haven’t killed yet, wooden percussion instruments / ornaments that belonged to my other grandmother, a paper apple made by one of my kids and a bunch of geese bowls found at Anthropologie years ago.
4) Mixtape from 1990
Made for me by my friend Dom, who opened my eyes and ears to music. This was one of many mixed tapes for which I am forever grateful. I love some of the titles! Metallica? Black Sabbath? Rush??
5) Tiny little seed and the tiny little elephants carved from ivory that live inside
My childhood best friend travelled the world, and brought this back from India for me when I was 9. The seed is about the size of a cherry pip. Those elephants are about the size of a ladybug wing. I remember he brought himself back a medieval-style chainmail glove from Nottingham after he had visited Sherwood Forest. He was the coolest.