Distilling life down to three actions

Every year, everything
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.

To live in this world you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Mary Oliver, In Blackwater Woods

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