M is for…

My 2015 A to Z Challenge Theme is Quotes & Lines from Literature. Each day I will be posting a favorite quote or a few lines from well known short stories, poems or novels, with the letter of the first name as the A to Z. I’ll have a short write up with each quote, but each quote can also serve as a writing prompt for readers or myself.  I may write a poem or flash fiction based on that quote, or just throw it out there as inspiration. Hopefully you’ll join me in this adventure! I’ll try to include some of my favorite blog finds as I move through the challenge as well.


I’ve seen a portion of this quote before, but then found the expanded excerpt above when reading Mary Oliver’s full poem, Wild Geese, in an anthology of poetry called, Good Poems, compiled by Garrison Keillor.

These particular lines in the poem are especially powerful to me, though the entire poem is lovely.  

I don’t ever feel especially lonely exactly, but I think we all feel afraid at times that we are alone in feeling like we’re failing. Sometimes I doubt myself – as a writer, as mother, as any of a number of things depending on the day. 😀 My house is never really truly clean. I struggle to finish my writing projects. I lose my patience with my kids.  

In those moments of doubt, it’s easy to feel alone in those doubts and failings. But then I read a book where a character can’t catch up on laundry either and I don’t feel so bad. Or I read someone else’s blog and see that they too have their writing projects they’ve started and abandoned, or set aside for a very long time, just like I have. Or I have coffee with a co-worker and listen to her worry she’s messing everything up with her kids, too.  

When I look outside myself, I see I am not alone in my doubts and fears of failure. All around us in this world we can find things that help us understand ourselves better in the bigger picture. 

Sometimes we need something to call to us, like wild geese as Mary Oliver says (how great is that imagery!) to help us get outside ourselves. Thankfully, this world is full of ways to see we are not alone, to see we are just a piece in a much larger picture, and that we fit in some way into that “family of things”. 

Beautiful and comforting. 😀