Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Whens Demand Joy and Love

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Some people pass early while still being able to impart fantastically rich gifts to those of us left on Earth. One of those is John O’Donohue, and I hope you enjoy listening to his reading of his poem, Beannacht, as posted on On Being. This comes from his book of poetry, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings.

Mr. O’Donohue does not talk of possibles. He talked of whens. When things get tough. When things rattle you. When darkness threatens to engulf.

Shit happens. It will always happen.

He gives us wishes and hopes- reminders. It’s all about how we respond to the whens. It’s about how we ALL respond: yesterday, today and tomorrow. It combines into a single force that he sums up in his last stanza:

“And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.”

His images describe love and joy. A single thing will not get us through the unavoidable troubles of life. It’s the sum of many good things, thoughts and actions. Across both time and space. You. Me. Our ancestors. Our descendents. Love, joy, and not being alone.

When the darkness threatens, what rescues us? Children’s laughter? A warm hug? A full belly? What lifts us, supports us and brightens our hearts and minds?

Let’s try to both give and receive these gifts when we can. At every chance we get. We don’t know when it’ll be too late.


I wrote my book, Dear Teachers, to be clay beneath the feet of teachers and a way for readers to document their experiences and growth over time. If you haven't gotten a copy for yourself or a teacher you know, please consider it today!

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