Wild Geese

flock of birds flapping wings flying under fast river

I believe that to be really creative, we need to know ourselves. We need to know the dark corners of ourselves – as well as the light – and embrace it all. Creativity is like a journey inwards. Like an explorer, we look with curiousity and wonder at everything we find.

The act of being creative is not to show “this is me”, but to ask the question “who am I?” The outcome of our creativity will always be a bit messy, and it is beautiful because of that.

Being unapologetically creative can be daunting. Creativity requires us to let go of everything we think we know for a while. For me, this poem captures the excitement and vulnerability of that process.


You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

by Mary Oliver

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