To walk on despite all the pleas for you to come back is to know that you are free from the clutches of guilt. When you are free of the grip of guilt and fear, love blooms—love of the truth. You will say what you have to say, and do what you have to do; not out of anger, nor irresponsibility, but because if you do not cleave to the truth, you know you will die. After all, It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. Already late enough: how long will you go on sleeping? This calling is passionate, urgent, even. Once you hear it, you cannot help but feel how late it is. You may have waited all your life for this one moment; there are no second thoughts. You wake to a wild night. Why does Mary Oliver insist it be wild? Perhaps because truth is wild; it is dangerous. It upsets things, brings down branches that were rotten on the tree, dislodges stones whose foundations were already shaky. It sorts the wheat from the chaff in our lives. The wild is uncompromising; its terms are always nonnegotiable, and it would rather die than not be true to what it knows.
– Ten Poems to Change Your Life