Eternal Struggle


Do you ever have days like this…..
where it feels as though you have to wrestle your life from the choking grasp of fate.
Where the struggle seems hopeless
And you might lose everything?
The universe threw me a nasty curve ball
…. I think I might have been sleeping…..
And now I have to fight against myself, to find myself again.
As usual Mary Oliver describes it perfectly…….

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could.
Mary Oliver

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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24 Responses to Eternal Struggle

  1. Pingback: Mary Oliver ~ The Journey | The Lena Jácome Weblog

  2. Pingback: Saving Yourself | Just Write Away

  3. So glad to hear about the good news for Molly! I nearly lost Mille – but he was saved too.

  4. Lynne Ayers says:

    I’m sorry to be ‘eaves-reading’ about Molly. Sometimes worrying abour our pets is worse than worrying about our children who, at least, can have some understanding of what is happening and can, to varying extents, help themselves. The encouraging words you have received here help me as well since I just got off the phone from a (adult) daughter undergoing a travail that had her in tears – and so, of course, I cry with her.

    • Oh Lynne I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. I don’t know if pets are more worrying than children….maybe it’s just a different kind of worry….but both leave me feeling helpless. Time somehow will bring a solution, or at least a change, until all becomes well. The waiting is the bit I find hard.

  5. i’m sending my very best thoughts and wishes to you and to your lovely dog. am very glad to eaves-read in the comments that it looks good now. 🙂

    • I love your phrase eaves-reading. Wonderful, and so true. I love the sort of extended conversations which come from reading through the comments!
      Thanks for your kind words and thoughts about Molly. We should get a date ( for a couple of weeks time) for the very clever surgery tomorrow. She’s only 14 months old, so it’s great that she should live a full and healthy life after this 🙂

  6. colonialist says:

    Hope the intervention is entirely successful, and the life there is determination to save, will be.

    • Thank you, it looks very promising, and should give her a full and happy life. They will go ahead in a couple of weeks. I’m really amazed at what a clever solution they have come up with. Modern Science really is magic in disguise 🙂

  7. Sorry to hear about your current troubles Seonaid. Take solace in what I’ve always said, and that is ‘Life is an Oscillator.’ You will work through this (one way or the other), the sun will come out, and all will be well once again … guaranteed. [By the way … nice image … as always.] D

    • Thanks for the gentle wisdom, and the photographic compliment. You are so right that eventually all will be well, its a lovely soothing phrase, and reminds me of one which I think St Francis of Assisi said….”All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.”

      In fact we just got back from the Dick Vet Animal Hospital, and we got very good news. There is an intervention which should offer young Molly a cure ( she’s only 14 months), so we will go ahead with that in a few weeks time. The surgeon is a young lady from the States, who trained with the guy who developed this new intervention over in New York…….she’s the only person over here doing this, so we feel very lucky that she’s based here in Edinburgh 🙂

  8. ZielonaMila says:

    Beautiful picture and fantastic poem:) Greetings

  9. I’m sorry to hear about your dog, Seonaid. Sending all best wishes your way. You’ve captured a lot with your photograph here. The Mary Oliver poem is beautiful.

    • We had good news about Molly dog, her liver condition can be fixed with a very clever intervention. She is only 14 months old, and it should give her a normal and healthy life span. Thanks for your best wishes….perhaps they helped 🙂 And thanks for the compliment on the photo….I’m getting a bit more creative with my processing, but its probably not everyone’s cup of tea!

      • So glad to hear the good news about the treatment for Molly! I think it’s great, too, that you’re having fun exploring with post-processing.

      • Thanks so much Lemony, I didn’t really mean to post about Molly’s health, but with my anxiety high it just kind of slipped in anyway, and I’ve had such lovely supportive comments 🙂
        As for the post-processing play, I’m feeling a bit more creative and arty now that I’ve mostly mastered my new camera. Not everyone likes these kind of photos, but I do enjoy playing, so thought I might put a few more up on the blog….so your encouragement is very welcome 🙂

  10. maddinaish says:

    Beautiful picture and beautiful poem.
    Hope your dog is ok,
    Maddi x

  11. ladyfi says:

    Wow – dramatic and beautiful. And a bit scary. Like life. Mary Oliver writes so beautifully.

    Sending you and your dog positive thoughts.

    • So true Fi, you’ve summed life up beautifully there! I think I was feeling quite dramatic when I processed this image, but the trees really do look like they are wrestling. I was trying to catch a feeling of the eternal, the backdrop of the universe behind us.
      And I love Mary Oliver’s poems…..

  12. Seonaid – the picture is very dramatic. Whatever you are experiencing, I hope you find that deep place within you from which everything can be witnessed and carried forward into a new place.

    • The deep place is there, it’s all just a bit uncertain in the external, and sometimes it feels like a struggle. My youngest dog goes into hospital for a CT scan tomorrow, and her life and future lie in the balance. Time will unfold, but the waiting is hard :-

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