Thursday, March 25, 2010

A wild night.

These are Mary Oliver’s words from The Journey:

It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.

These are mine:

It was October, 1987, the evening was dark and dense with rain and wind. What had started as a gentle breeze was now the Great Storm that dragged dustbins across gardens, uprooted trees and sent branches flying. Roof tiles littered the air. Across an ocean my dear father-in-law was rushed off to hospital with a stroke, destruction lingered in our house as a bad smell. That is when I felt the pain. It started somewhere in my lower back and continued full circle. Soon I set off for hospital myself.

But my pain was a good one. After some hours of pushing, pressing, sweating and breathing a boy lay peacefully in my arms, sucking.

I have often wondered about this: When you are surrounded by darkness, are you allowed to laugh? And whilst giggling and having fun, can you stop for a moment to feel the pain?

And yes, he was fine. My father-in-law I mean. We are off tomorrow, across an ocean, to visit him and his dear, dear wife.


  1. Laugh into the darkness. Dare. What else is there and who is there to say no?

    Have a wonderful visit.


  2. Grete, found your blog from Beth Kephart's post today and LOVE your posts thus far. What a beautiful blog! Just added myself as a subscriber.

  3. Your words remind me of my birth experience. I love how you relate this wonderful poem to your life, how you're living into the poem. Thanks too for visiting my site. I am so happy we met through Beth's blog.

  4. Erin -

    Who is there to say no, indeed......

    Melissa -

    Thanks for visiting!

    Cindy -

    Poetry is, contrary to our prejudices (mine as well!) - so REAL! The only way to read, I think, is to relate the words to life itself. I know of no other way.....