Man a lifeboat

One day you finally knew

 what you had to do, and began,

 though the voices around you

 kept shouting

 their bad advice –

 though the whole house

 began to tremble

 and you felt the old tug

 at your ankles.

 “Mend my life!”

 each voice cried.

 But you didn’t stop.

 You knew what you had to do,

 though the wind pried

 with its stiff fingers

 at the very foundations,

 though their melancholy

 was terrible.

 It was already late

 enough, and a wild night,

 and the road full of fallen

 branches and stones.

 But little by little,

 as you left their voices behind,

 the stars began to burn

 through the sheets of clouds,

 and there was a new voice

 which you slowly

 recognized as your own,

 that kept you company

 as you strode deeper and deeper

 into the world,

 determined to do

 the only thing you could do –

 determined to save

 the only life you could save.   

-Mary Oliver, The Journey 

I have a few friends who have made monumental decisions lately. Life-changing decisions. Really tough decisions. Some, I applaud. Some would not be my decision. But the point is, they took the time. Sat. Listened to their soul finally come through all the noise surrounding them.

And they acted. Sometimes, the acting was deciding not to act.

Not mine to judge. The important thing—they got as clear as they could in their own life.

I have five older sisters. If I could fill a river with their advice over the years, it would rival the Nile. Thankfully, as we’ve all advanced in our years, so has our wisdom and our ability to bite our tongue. To remain silent. To not add to the cacophony of voices.

Because, in the end, we cannot “fix” anyone. If I’m broken and you’re broken, then our relationship will be broken. If even just one of us is broken, the other cannot fill the void.

It takes one whole, healthy person to make a life. Put two together and they both better be whole or the ship goes down.

I’m rooting for those who have manned a lifeboat and begun to row, saving the one life they can–on a good day making magic from tattered pieces.

Random thoughts today from my corner of the world.


27 Comments Add yours

  1. Well, I can’t be a saving lifeboat without a captain 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Nothing beats being the captain of your own boat :-).

  2. The rowing gets tough some days – especially when it rains – but its the only way to get across to the other side of the river.

    1. candidkay says:

      Wise words from a woman who knows :-).

  3. Love Mary Oliver! Her work is inspiring. As is yours. 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! I agree. She makes my brain pop in the very best way.

  4. George says:

    Nice post, Kay. I thinks w’re all rooting for those people, whomever they may be.

    1. candidkay says:

      Hey, everybody needs a cheering section at some point, right? 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! Appreciate you stopping by and the kind words.

  5. I thought you wrote a poem. I was like whoa she writes poetry too!

    Great post!

  6. I’m rooting for them too, I love that phrase ‘magic from tattered pieces’.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’ve got to believe our rooting for them helps propel them somehow:).

  7. Sometimes manning a lifeboat and rowing is all a person can do. Beautifully written.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! I know that’s coming from a fellow rower, so means all the more:).

  8. So, kiddo: when did you ever get so wise? (smile) This is, of course, my backhanded way of saying, “Well said, K!” well said. And, good choice of the Oliver poem too.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, friend:). The wisdom is hard earned but as you know, well worth it!

      1. I hear you, sister.

    1. candidkay says:

      Right back ‘atcha:).

  9. Mercy says:

    Your wise, strong words are as poetic as Mary Oliver’s. A wonderful post.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! Having even a syllable compared to Mary Oliver’s is true praise in my book:).

  10. Great post! I agree Kristine we can’t fix anyone, but I also believe that working on myself and understanding my journey here, has really helped those around me, especially my children. When I believe I am worthy and deserve abundance in life it helps those close to me see they also can. The choice is always ours. I love Mary Oliver she always inspires me. 💜

    1. candidkay says:

      I agree! We help each other–but go too far when we think that’s a guarantee of change on another’s part. Mary Oliver is a rock star in my book:).

  11. Great random Kristine…now the hard bit…to actually listen to that silence, it has great power 🙂
    Oh, and one other tiny bit…it is by ‘fixing’ ourselves that we unintentionally ‘guide’ others. It gives great strength to others in seeing our truth, and the healing that it provides, as you commented on others getting into their row boats.
    You have already stepped into yours, hence the divorce etc. Yes, it feels sometimes that we are still out in the middle of the Atlantic on a moonless night, not knowing whether the next wave will be our last…but, we are rowing…and sometimes a seagull will stop on our bow to let us know ‘there is still life and love’ out there…we just have to believe in ourselves and keep on moving down that path that feels the best within.
    Divorces, or any big decisions are wild trek’s into the unknown, who would deliberately go into something so crazy…but we do, because we ‘know’ that this is the path through, and into, what we truthfully wish to find within. That unconditional love that we all seek, that we follow to the ends of the Earth, each step taking us home 🙂
    Great post random rambler, sometimes in those moments great clarity can be found…just by listening to our hearts 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      A big thank you for the heartfelt and wise words, from this random rambler:).

I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Drop me a line.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s