Wednesday, January 01, 2014

John O'Donohue: "Beannacht"

On this first day of the new year I offer yesterday's poem on the Meme 'A Year of Being Here'
"Beannacht" from To Bless the Space Between us;  A Book of Blessings. 
The poem is listed in the book as a blessing for the New Year, but was originally
written for his mother, Josie, on the death of his father.
On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets in to you,
May the flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green,
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
And the stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

John O'Donohue recited this poem for Krista Tippett's On Being program shortly before his death in 2008.  Click here to hear the poet's reading, presented with a collage of images selected by his friends.  (from the Curator's notes in 'A Year of Being Here')
This is a vimeo video - if you don't belong to Vimeo it is free to download if you care to hear the poet's beautiful Irish brogue read these lovely comforting words.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Y is for Yesterday

ABC Wednesday
January 1st, 2014

The letter is Y - the word is Yesterday

Where all our memories lie.........
and so we
Cherish Yesterday
Live Today
Dream Tomorrow
for more Ys lean over and peek around the corner here
at what's been posted at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Roger, Denise,
and all their helpers.

Monday, December 30, 2013

A lighthearted morning

I devoted the morning to pure pleasure!

A lovely sleep-in (until 7.45)...

A lingering visit with my daughter over morning coffee....

A search through the DVDs I gathered together the last day the library was open before Christmas holidays, to get me through the long evenings, and the splendid discovery that I had included 'My Family and Other Animals' in the treasure trove....

At one time, when Gerald Durrell was writing his wonderful books, a number of them found places on my shelves and delighted me.  Through the years when we have moved and downsized and made the library shelves available to family, these great books have moved house also to other family homes and I had quite forgotten how hilarious and human they are.

I gathered my knitting together (more about that later) and sat down to watch, and soon lost myself in that pure pleasure I was talking about.   Christmas has not been particularly easy, and it was so wonderful to feel my spirits lighten.  When the show ended I found I had let my needles drop, and my knitting lay untended on my lap.  I sighed a happy sigh and got up to make yet one more turkey sandwich and think about Gerald Durrell and his life , and his amazing curiousity and devotion to the  bugs and the beetles and the birds and small animals.  I took my lunch to the computer room and googled the Durrells , and discovered that Gerald Durrell was born just three days after I was, on the 5th of January, 1925.  He was not as fortunate in the length of his life, but I read on reminding myself of the unique  and humane view he had of Zoos and the study of wildlife.  In comparing his writing career with that of his brother, Lawrence, he pointed out that Lawrence wrote for the love of writing, while Gerald wrote to raise money from the sale of his books to establish animal shelters and maintain them with the loving care he seemed to give to all creatures.

I remembered that at one time Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet had been in my library and that it has been a long time since I read it, so I ordered it from the library along with those Gerald Durrell books that they still have and that should make the winter pass more pleasantly....

About the knitting, - I am making mittens lined with wool fleece for the birthday of one of my sons who lives on the Chilcotin Plateau where the skies are blue in the winter and the sun shines brightly for a while, but where sometimes the temperature drops to wicked lows and unless, as he says, fingers are in bed with each other, keeping each other warm in woolen mittens, they get mighty cold. 

These should do the trick.  They are fiddly to knit, having to insert little puffs of fleece every three or four stitches on alternate rows,  but how delicious to bury one's hand amidst all that  soft, cosy  down!  I understand that after a while the fleece felts and they provide great protection from the cold.

I will finish the second mitten tomorrow and then see the Old Year out....
Hope we all slide through the New Year happily, and if
perchance we should run into bumps and ruts that
we have lots of spare resilience to see us through.....
God Bless.....