So, I am thinking deeply today on the title of Roger Housden's miraculous book, Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and Revelation. This book was one of the gifts given to me by my niece over the holidays--I've read Housden's two other anthologies Ten Poems to Change Your Life and Ten Poems to Open Your Heart. Risking Everything is my favorite of the three.
Mary Oliver's words at the end of her poem, "When Death Comes", are a benediction...a prayer to something deeper than I can explain today.
When its over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When its over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
This book is full of poets who have the capacity to soothe and inspire...to break down and open up...to hold a thought in a way that my life won't allow as a possibility for me right in this moment. I want to say that all of my life, I was a bride married to amazement. I want my children to take the world into their arms. I don't want anyone I love to be frightened or to wonder if their lives have been something particular and real. I want them to be bold and to know it--I want my kids to embrace everything--even the unknown. I want to take my own advice. I won't call this a resolution...this "New Year" has already left me a bit too shaken to stand firm in my resolve on anything. But, call it a prayer, if you want to...
I'm applying for citizenship in this world I cannot help but to love.