Nobody Cares by William Stafford

Nobody cares if you stop here. You can
look for hours, gaze out over the forest.
And the sounds are yours too—take away
how the wind either whispers or begins to
get ambitious. If you let the silence of
afternoon pool around you, that serenity
may last a long time, and you can take it
along. A slant sun, mornings or evenings,
will deepen the canyons, and you can carry away
that purple, how it gathers and fades for hours.
This whole world is yours, you know. You can
breathe it and think about it and dream it after this
wherever you go. It’s all right. Nobody cares.

Nobody Cares

Nobody cares could sound cruel, the kind of adolescent throw-away comment of disregard you may have received at some time or other. But I believe Stafford means this differently, a gentle admonishment to live without fear of others’ opinions or expectations, to just be who you are.

To begin, Nobody cares if you stop here, right here, right now, to gaze at the view around you without limits. And the sounds are yours too he tells us, the wind whispering or becoming ambitious (great word choice) as it does before a storm. Or you can let the silence of / afternoon pool around you, that kind of quiet that fills you with tranquility – you can even take it with you.

As the sun rises or sets, that slanted light of extraordinary colour is yours to carry away with you, that purple, how it gathers and fades for hours. You can remember the soothing effect of those times of day whenever you need them. This whole world is yours, you know. You do know that, don’t you? He is reminding you that you carry all this with you wherever you go. And it’s all right because it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says, it’s yours to experience. Nobody cares.

12 thoughts on “Nobody Cares by William Stafford

  1. Dear Jan,
    As I read your words I am again grateful for the opportunity to be part of the web of life that you are part of. How we need these reminders that life is ours to live, and to live is both our challenge and our grace.
    Love you.

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  2. Well, this is liberating! A reminder about all that is available to us in nature and to release the pressure of social conditioning…….sigh ;O) Thanks Jan!

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  3. I have a fear of being judged for my actions. Years ago at our house… a party. I was rushing, and swiped a bit of coffee from the counter with a cloth and hung it back over the tap. A co-worker said, “Aren’t you going to rinse that off?”.
    I’ve carried that comment with me since. How ridiculous. Nobody cares. And if they do, do I care? It’s only a weight if I let it be.

    Thank you, dear Jan. I love staying connected with you in this way. xoxo

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  4. I can’t tell you how often I’ve swiped and hung the cloth without rinsing Lianne!! Love that and your insight that it’s only a weight if we let it be. I agree, great connection this way, always appreciate your responses. xoxox

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