A few months ago, we found this image on Cuban photographer Gigi de la Torre’s website. It seemed to sum up Improvised Life’s curious mashup of books and trees, inner and outer, poetry and practicality, organic and cerebral, and the unexpected connections of ideas made when the Creative is at work.  We were waiting for the right moment to publish it and found it this morning when Mary Oliver’s American Primitive randomly opened to this poem.

Morning at Great Pond by Mary Oliver*

It starts like this:
forks of light
slicking up
out of the east,
flying over you,
and what’s left of night —
its black waterfalls,
its craven doubt —
dissolves like gravel
as the sun appears
trailing clouds
of pink and green wool,
igniting the fields,
turning the ponds
to plates of fire.
The creatures there
are dark flickerings
you make out
one by one
as the light lifts —
great blue herons,
wood ducks shaking
their shimmering crests —
and knee-deep
in the purple shallows
a deer drinking:
as she turns
the silver water
crushes like silk,
shaking the sky,
and you’re healed then
from the night, your heart
wants more, you’re ready
to rise and look!
to hurry anywhere!
to believe in everything.


At first we searched for a picture of a luminous pond. Then we remembered Gigi’s photo. The feeling it evokes seems somehow more apt…

 your heart
wants more, you’re ready
to rise and look!
to hurry anywhere!
to believe in everything.

A poem and a picture launched us into the day…



If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

2 replies on “‘Rise and Look’ for the Unexpected (Mary Oliver + Gigi de la Torre)

  1. mystical relief

    this poem is more powerful, like an arrow of light,
    or that heron rising

    thank you for posting it

  2. What a wonderful discovery. Beautiful words put together in true meaning of life and all it entails.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *