posted in: The Journey | 5
Wind blowing snow from mountain peak

May I admit to a great howling wind inside my mind, scouring and scouring?

Every handhold, every rough surface polished like the glassiest ice. An unnavigable glare. 


To crouch down, narrow focus, examine this moment. The difference of inflection between a chickadee and junco. Then to let go of differentiation and hear wings wings wings.

In an interview Mary Oliver said, “I want, if I possibly can, to become my ideas.”

She also, earlier in the interview said, “So many of us live most of our lives seeking the answerable. And somehow demeaning, or bypassing, those things that cannot be answered. And therefore denuding one’s life of the acceptance of mystery and pleasure of mystery and the willingness to live with mystery….. and if I could something for people, I would say, ‘Don’t forget the mystery. Love the mystery. Be glad of it. Don’t want answers all the time.’”


There is a relentlessness to bright sun on unmarked snow. A type of perfection that hurts the eyes. 

Let me get small and smaller. Let me get as small as I possibly can. Spruce needle on a suspension of snow.  The way the world cannot be anything other than what it is. There is no great secret, but there is a lot of mystery.

May I admit that when I think about what I want to leave behind, I am struck by the sheer amount of time I have wasted not paying attention? 


Sherry Simpson writes in The Way Winter Comes: “If there are answers, they lie somewhere in the living margin between ice and blood, between permafrost and sky. Sooner or later, flesh and land become the same. What we bury, the earth gives back. What we hide, the ocean finds. What time takes, it returns.”

Sun and fingertip of wind cascade secondary storm, alder and spruce branches tipping their windrows of snow. Crystalline cataract, breathless against the blue.


5 Responses

  1. Susanne Ratcliffe Wilson

    To me this reads like a poem. Maybe it is. Exquisite any way.Su

  2. Rose Costello

    Dear Erin, thank you for standing up for mystery, and its delicious, ecstatic play of invitation and distance.

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