I'm reading Mary Oliver's book of essays Upstream. In a few pages I read earlier this week, I came across two passages I wanted to comment on. First, this:
For it is precisely how I feel, who have inherited not measurable wealth but, as we all do who care for it, that immeasurable fund of thoughts and ideas, from writers and thinkers long gone into the ground--and, inseparable from those wisdoms because demanded by them, the responsibility to live thoughtfully and intelligently. To enjoy, to question--never to assume, or trample. Thus the great one (my great ones, who may not be the same as your great ones) have taught me--to observe with passion, to think with patience, to live always caringly.
Yes. Quite rightly stated.
She goes on to list some of her great ones who include early Wordsworth, Shelley, Blake, Emerson, Carson, and Leopold. She adds, "I go nowhere, I arrive nowhere, without them."
Who are your great ones?
Mine include Alfred North Whitehead, William James, Wendell Berry, Walt Whitman, Gerard Manley Hopkins, C. S. Lewis, James McClendon, Beethoven, Bach, and R. E. M.