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Posted May 18, 2001
'Every year everything I have ever learned in my lifetime leads back to this: the fires and the black river of loss, whose other side is salvation. . . To live in this world you must be able to do three things: To love what is mortal; and to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and when the time comes, to let it go.' This is Mary Oliver's 'The Three Things,' from American Primitive. This is one of my favorite poems. It helped me to memorialize a deceased friend in 1997 when my heart was breaking. I recently quoted it in a note of sympathy to a friend. American Primitive is an excellent book, and I recommend it for anyone who is going through times of great feeling.
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Posted September 15, 2009
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