A few lines from 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."
Ole' Tom T. Hall had a song my dad played called "I love." It was simple and profound at the same time; just a listing of what he loved. Letting myself love what I love. There may be no greater challenge in this life. I'm not Mary Oliver or Tom T. Hall, but here goes:
I love putting my hand on our kids' chests when they're asleep and feeling their hearts beat. Three kids and three different rhythms.
I love reading a footnote in a book about another book and searching out that book and falling for a new author. I discovered Rick Bass by way of David James Duncan that way.
I love spoonin' up against my wife at night. After sixteen years together, we still fit like puzzle pieces.
I love listening to music my dad introduced me to and thinking about him and crying - maybe a song like "Sunday Morning Coming Down."
I love the smell of boot leather in a western store. It's just plum erotic. Tony Lama #12 turns me on over Chanel #5 any day.
I love dusk; those moments when one world ends and another begins. It is my time of the day. Bittersweet, fleeting, beautiful; kind of like autumn - my season.
I love the essence of communion wine just before the chalice tips my way and I take and drink. I also love licking the remainder out of my beard as I return to my seat.
Those are a few of the things the soft animal of my body loves; the baskets I'm putting my eggs in. I'm tired of being good and walking on my knees. I don't love that.