I’m tired of Mary Oliver.
I’m tired of her dog doing something ordinary and of the grass parting beneath her muddy gardening shoes.
Sorry Mary, and all of her devoted readers. I like spiders too, but the one inside my door died months ago.
Under a dictionary.
Now, I used to love Mary Oliver.
I loved Mary Oliver in the way I loved buying journals I never wrote in.
After all, it’s comforting to think that all you must do to seek inner significance is to go on a walk, preferably one with a moth-burning light.
And if that fails, you could always find a dead animal rotting in the woods.
Or think of sunrises and divine dews: cool and silent, and utterly unneeding of you.
(Though your presence is required, in order to properly observe. How artful that dead thing is, goodness, look at the flies…
Well, sorry Mary, and sorry introspection, but that’s not really enough for me anymore.
I live in the city now.
And the dead things here aren’t wild.
There’s a homeless woman who yells at me as she steals my trash, and no matter how gorgeous the cool mornings are, I still rush into my car to get to work on time.
The times are sad, and not the kind of sad you can call divine-stained.
So right now I don’t want to hear about woods. Or how precious that insect is (which, it‘s not, not really. It’s a bug.)
The last thing I want to read about is another long and beautiful and solitary walk.
Writers and readers, we’ve done enough reflecting.
Talk to me about work today. What you’ve been seeing in the news, and what you’re going to do to fix it.
Talk to me about someone new you met. Or what you’ve been reading lately.
Even if it’s Mary Oliver.
Meg Schmidt (’16) graduated after studying writing and art history. Her interests include attempting to cook paleo, reading through McBrien’s Lives of the Popes, and landing the wittiest joke in a conversation. She currently works with Eerdmans Publishing as a Graphic and Production assistant.