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Things to Think by Robert Bly

Dear MMAC,

I am confused. As hell. As fuck. (Whatever do they mean when people say these things?) Again: I am confused. Evidence of this will come soon enough in my letter, splattered all over the paragraphs. I just need to write this down right now while my chest is ripped open and raw, and I haven’t had the time to think.

Earlier while having coffee with my father, I was once again held captive by doubts. Imagine me rendered mute and helpless in front of my hero (why is it that I could never pull myself together when I’m with the man I’ve most admired my whole life?). He seemed so put together while I struggled with my questions, and what I hoped to be enlightening turned into an exercise of futility.

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts. I have so many. If overthinking was a crime, I’d be serving a life sentence. Maybe a run-on sentence. (That wasn’t very funny, was it.)

You’re worrying about nothing, he said. The answers are so easy, he said. Why don’t I feel that way?

Very human, you said. What if I’ve let myself down?


Things to Think
Robert Bly

Think in ways you’ve never thought before
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
Maybe wounded and deranged: or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you’ve never seen.

When someone knocks on the door, think that he’s about
To give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,
Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time, or that it’s
Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.

Comments (3)

  • How fortunate your poem choice is for me…the relief I needed…and your own words about that conversation…telling…and providing a similar, more personal and tender relief…”You’re worrying about nothing”

    the run-on sentence line WAS very funny in a similar tender way.

  • OMG. You have such wonderful selections! Thank you, thank you.

    And the run-on sentence was funny. 🙂


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