This was my third morning with the poem “White-eyes” by Mary Oliver. It was five-thirty, and I was sitting in my usual place on the living room couch. Coffee in hand, I opened the volume Why I Wake Early to a clearly marked page.
On two previous mornings I had stayed with this same poem, each time arriving at a point where I felt my heart leap at something I had forgotten to expect. No matter what else my mind had been working through just a day before, I seemed to stop, go still, grow lighter as the poet’s communication came into focus. I was drawn each time by someone wanting to say something – something about her experience of a marvelous world, something about her life.
That urge on the poet’s part to open a door with her words regularly leaves me breathless. At words offered with intelligence from a generous heart, my own heart opens.
In my home I have on display two vintage photographs of men reading. I love to ponder what may have prompted someone years ago to pick up a camera at the time each man was reading. I like to think the photographer found his own heart awakened at the sight, stirred at the nearness of another’s inner world. Imagine the conversations waiting to begin!