Without love


Roger Housden once again reaches into the soul of me in a short chapter on Mary Oliver’s West Wind #2

There is life without love.

Mary Oliver is speaking directly to that part of you and me that knows, however faintly, that when we rush into life, when we leap into action without any connection to the deeper currents that move through us always, we are acting without love. Our oars thrash at the water, and we break the gossamer web of life this way.

There is indeed a life without love, she says. It is quite possible to live a life in which your soul plays no part. You can jump up and down with every passing impulse, and never hear the whispering call that is there all along.

Yes: the cantus firmus – the enduring melody. That’s the note and that’s the song that I’m trying daily to listen out for. Of course there’s life without love, but such a life is not what we were made for.

… when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life toward it.

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8 thoughts on “Without love

  1. This resonates deeply, my friend – for the gentle reminder (as I spend a night far too awake to even consider sleep) to offer up gratitude and grace for love in all the many iterations it fills my life, and profound appreciation for my friend across the pond who just seems to know when such posts will be most welcomed…xxx

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    1. Thank you so much, Mimi. I sometimes wonder whether wakefulness at night is a human given – intentional or designed opportunity to find ourselves be-ing and going on, precisely and with pleasure, ‘to offer up gratitude and grace.’ The complexity and nuance in our human personhood is astonishing, isn’t it? And whether it be ‘Om’ or ‘cantus firmus,’ or the psalms, or classical music, or pop songs, or the voices of our loved ones, something is always resonating in all of us – and so we reach out. What a wonderful thing it is that the ocean between us resounds – and becomes the conductor of our connection instead of a barrier. Thank you. Huge appreciation, as ever, for you, too 🤗🌱xxx

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      1. That humongous bathtub is surely one of the most powerful connectors there is – especially when friends I cherish are on one side, and I’m on the other – listening to the echo…xx

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  2. Like Mimi, I find this post deeply resonant, dear friend. Life without love is possibly, yes, but sadly hollow. When I think of the different kinds of love with which I have been blessed…the love of friends and family, of my precious pets, even of Mother Nature (I feel she embraces me every time I feel the sun on my back)…I say a little word of thanks.

    And love is clearly in the air, as this item appeared in my morning mail along with your lovely post.


    Sending love your way…. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be impossible for me – one among the many who love Mary Oliver (whose spirit lives on and speaks to us today) – not to love you, too, Lori. You are every bit the thoughtful, thankful poet that we love in Mary Oliver … ‘(I feel she embraces me every time I feel the sun on my back)’ Thank you! And thank you for this link to On Being. I’ve been feeling a post coming on having seen one of their lovely recent videos. Watch this space. And if you look out of your window right now you’ll see a British-looking-hug parachuting in 🪂 to you 🤗xxx

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