In a world where multi-tasking is a goal and priority, where we twitter unceasing to the empty air, where our lives are open Facebooks and if we are not busy from morning until night we become disoriented, it is profoundly countercultural to seek stillness and solitude. Then there is the poet Mary Oliver. She isn’t afraid to be countercultural; poets can’t afford to be afraid. Or perhaps truer to say, poets know what there is really to be afraid of:
The Old Poets of China
Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
— Mary Oliver