Of course one of my very favorite poems would be the subject of my first quote comic! I was quite sad to hear Mary Oliver passed away back in January, though 83 years is a pretty respectable run, and she did a heck of a lot in that time. I think what I love the most about “Wild Geese” in particular is that it invites us to come back to being a part of nature rather than seeing ourselves as some inherently flawed screw-up. Those of us in the Western world have spent a lot of our history largely stuck in this messed-up, lose-lose view where we think we’re superior to the rest of nature but also convinced that we’re inferior to some idealized afterlife or otherworld. Either way, we get shoved into some artificial hierarchy that promotes destruction across the board.

Wild Geese” is a message that shatters that cycle, promotes gentleness and a renewal of one’s social instincts. Sure, nature can be red in tooth and claw, but it also displays a lot of cooperation and care in numerous species. We didn’t evolve as starkly independent beings; we evolved as small communities that took care of each other and created strong social bonds as a way to survive. Not that conflicts never happened, of course, but we could stand to focus more on the warm, cuddly mammal part of our nature, not to mention our ongoing connection with the rest of our world.

This is also one of my favorite landscapes I’ve done to date, and my first time trying to draw…well…I think just about any sort of goose, if I’m to be honest.

Species Portrayed: Greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons)