TGIF – What are you grateful for? Love.

I am grateful for deep and varied forms of love that exist in this world.
~Michelle Conklin
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Mary Oliver (b. 1935)

Of Love

I have been in love more times than one,
thank the Lord. Sometimes it was lasting
whether active or not. Sometimes
it was all but ephemeral, maybe only
an afternoon, but not less real for that.
They stay in my mind, these beautiful people,
or anyway beautiful people to me, of which
there are so many. You, and you, and you,
whom I had the fortune to meet, or maybe
missed. Love, love, love, it was the
core of my life, from which, of course, comes
the word for the heart. And, oh, have I mentioned
that some of them were men and some were women
and some — now carry my revelation with you —
were trees. Or places. Or music flying above
the names of their makers. Or clouds, or the sun
which was the first, and the best, the most
loyal for certain, who looked so faithfully into
my eyes, every morning. So I imagine
such love of the world — its fervency, its shining, its
innocence and hunger to give of itself — I imagine
this is how it began.

From New and Selected Poems, 1992, Beacon Press, Boston, MA

Man in Prayer Reconciling Ministries Conference
Man in Prayer
Reconciling Ministries Conference

Mary Oliver's numerous awards include the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. With over thirty books to her credit, The New York Times described her as "far and away, this country's [America's] best-selling poet" (Wikipedia).

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(c) 2013 essay, Michelle Conklin

(c) 2013 photo, Terri Stewart

(c) 1992 poem, Mary Oliver

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