Tag Archives: mourning

Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For the Weekend

This Friday I direct you to some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

1. NPR’s list of books that helped us grow up. A friend of mine just found a copy of Deenie in her basement-sigh!

2. And speaking of literature, if you’re a David Foster Wallace fan (or wanna-be, like yours truly) you might want to join in the Infinite Summer project, an online book club that’s reading Wallace’s Infinite Jest over the course of this summer (only one third through-there’s still time to join!) While you’re at it, a helpful reader pointed me to this interview with DFW posted on the reader’s blog, Rough Fractals.

3. For those of us looking to jump start our job hunt during the recession, have a look at this video resume. You will not be disappointed. (Hat Tip: Marci Alboher, Working the New Economy).

4. The New York Times’ Judith Warner talks about what it’s like to mourn in middle age.

5. For the visually inclined, take a look at this collection of living pictures formed by thousands of U.S. soldiers. Very cool!

6. Finally, I love the concept of this blog, A Midlife Of Privilege. (Subtitle: A WASP stops to consider.) Love it!

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Coping with the Death of a Parent: A Poem

Nothing drives home the fact of adulthood quite so clearly as the death of a parent.

My own father passed away not very long ago. Today would have been his 77th birthday.

Shortly after he died, a friend sent me the following poem to comfort me during this loss.

Today, in his honor, I share that poem with you:

In Blackwater Woods

–          Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blur shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what it its
name is, is

nameless now.
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,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

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