Mary Oliver, Happier Than She’s Ever Been

I have loved the work of Mary Oliver for many years. Reading a poem by Oliver fills me, allows me to revel in a feeling so beautifully described that I can barely contain it within me. It wants to expand, grow, reach up to the moon, the stars.

Barely Contained

Oliver has always expressed her private nature, her solitary life, but recently I ran across this interview and was greatly surprised by how ebullient she was.

I think my favorite question, posed by Maria Shriver, was “Do you think it’s possible to contain the spiritual world and also be of the “real world” in 2011?”
And Mary answers:

I definitely believe that. And I think if you skimp on one or the other, you’re not getting the whole show. You have to be in the world to understand what the spiritual is about, and you have to be spiritual in order to truly be able to accept what the world is about.

And how about this? Oliver is actually funny!

Maria Shriver:     One line of yours I often quote is, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” What do you think you have done with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver: I used up a lot of pencils.

Here is a live interview, followed by several live readings.

Oh, I feel as if I have digested a rich meal, having all this Mary Oliver-up-close-and-personal information at once! You will have to go to the Oprah site to find some of it, so if that is a problem for you, all I can say is “Suck it up. Mary is worth that small sacrifice.”

If you love O, then there is no problem, right? There are so many O words you already love. Orgasm (hey, I just get right in there), ova, oasis, observation, obsess (in a good way), obtain, ocean, older (read the interview and then challenge me about this choice).

I could go on and on, obviously (more O words), but there is one very important, and obvious word I still need to re-emphasize: OLIVER!


P.S. Paulann, this image came after many renditions of the blocked crochet photo. It is my favorite, which is why I chose to place it in this particular post.


About CarolWiebe

Art entices, inspires, and delights me. Art is a vehicle for laughter, tears, wonder, enlightenment--taking me on a constant path of discovery. You can't say that about housework (except, perhaps, for the crying part).
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6 Responses to Mary Oliver, Happier Than She’s Ever Been

  1. Here’s to using up pencils, paintbrushes, and all the wonderful artist tools! Not only am I willing to go anywhere for an “Oliver” fix–it gives me an odd sense of cosmic hope to see Shriver doing something so very positive.

  2. I just love Mary Oliver, and I think the Barely Contained piece is exquisite. The title is perfect, because it looks like it is ready to jump off the page into life! It’s such fun to see the process of getting from the beginning of art to the place it evolves to.

    • Carol Wiebe says:

      It’s is just as much fun for me, Paulann! I seldom know where something is going to end up–I just start playing and go along for the ride.

      I am so happy for Mary Oliver–to experience such healing is an encouragement to us all.

  3. jted says:

    An inspiration. It’s nice to know some people get wiser. I mean both you and Oliver of course!

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