Work, sometimes

Work, Sometimes
Mary Oliver

I was sad all day, and why not. There I was, books piled
on both side of the table, paper stacked up, words
falling off my tongue.

The robins had been a long time singing, and now it
was beginning to rain.

What are we sure of? Happiness isn't a town on a map,
or an early arrival, or a job well done, but good work
ongoing. Which is not likely to be the trifling around
with a poem.

Then it began raining hard, and the flowers in the yard
were full of lively fragrance.

You have had days like this, no doubt. And wasn't it
wonderful, finally, to leave the room? Ah, what a
moment!

As for myself, I swung the door open. And there was
the wordless, singing world. And I ran for my life.


Reading this poem was like a sudden warm breeze. Like yesterday, the thirtieth of March, when the grass began to grow. It felt like swinging a door open. It describes the way I have been feeling lately about my work.

And wasn't it wonderful, finally, to leave the room? Ah, what a moment.

I have spent ten years in this room. Mothering. Writing in the margins. It is my heart's work. I am falling-down grateful for every day of it.

But I got a job. A real, dress-up job with other adults. It feels like it is time, now, to leave this room, sometimes. It feels like swinging a door open.

Happiness isn't a town on a map,
or an early arrival, or a job well done, but good work
ongoing. Which is not likely to be the trifling around
with a poem.

My new job is a few evenings and weekends. Nothing particularly noteworthy, just a simple part-time job.

We are still going to homeschool. I will keep writing in the mornings. The time is right, and we need for me to bring in some extra income. It feels like an open door, like fresh breezes. I think it will freshen all of my work- mothering and homeschool and writing.

All work is best sometimes.

For a long time now I have lived should-be-writing. But art {life} isn't produced through guilt. It comes by distraction, attention, fun.. . time in the yard full of lively fragrance.

The best thing I have done for my work recently is to walk away. To learn to work, sometimes. It is wonderful, sometimes, to leave the room.

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