Our minds seem to lean toward complexity. Simple just isn't enough. We've just got to add salt, saturate the color, and speak a few more words.
I do it and you probably do it, too.
When a friend sent me this video of Mary Oliver reading her famous poem, "Wild Geese," I was struck by the simplicity of her delivery. She simply read the poem. Her voice had none of that lilting, lyrical tone affected by some poets. The words stood by themselves without imposition of whatever idea she might have about their meaning. Not special.
Could we practice with this kind of simplicity? When walking, just walk. When sitting, just sit. Why make it special?
"Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver
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 your 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.