I’ve walked through darkness this year. In the lowest moments, a friend sent me blessings every day. I started reading John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us. I am now sending blessings to someone I love dearly, to walk with her through her own dark days. My brother is getting married to a woman I adore, so I wrote them a marriage blessing.
I don’t believe in writer’s block (refuse the concept!) but I did struggle this month with brain fog. I have all kinds of excuses, but instead of listing them, I’ll tell you what I decided.
I decided we need blessing. We need to insist on it, to wrestle with God until he gives it to us, to turn to one another and offer it. We need to speak blessing, not rage. We need to receive blessing when it comes to us from unexpected places. We need to discover, anew, all it can mean to live as a blessing among the nations.
And so, I bless you, expatriate, and your life overseas.
I tried to write my own blessing but alas, brain fog. Or #blamethecancer? So I’m borrowing from other, wiser people.
From To Bless the Space Between Us, by John O’Donohue
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home.
Welcoming Blessing, by Jan Richardson
When you are lost
in your own life.
When the landscape
you have known
When your familiar path
and you find yourself
in the story you had held
Then let yourself
Let yourself leave
for a place
you do not already know,
you have not learned
Let yourself land
on a threshold
that mirrors the mystery
of your own
It will come
as a surprise,
to welcome you
through the door,
making a place for you
at the table
and calling you
by your name.
Let what comes,
From Mary Oliver, Evidence: Poems
“Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am
to be blessed.”
The Journey, by Rumi
for seeking is the foundation of fortune:
every success depends upon focusing the heart.
Unconcerned with the business of the world,
keep saying with all your soul, “Ku, ku,” like the dove…
Even though you’re not equipped,
Whoever you see engaged in search,
become her friend and cast your head in front of her,
for choosing to be a neighbor of seekers,
you become one yourself…
Day and night you are a traveler in a ship.
You are under the protection of a life-giving spirit…
Step aboard the ship and set sail,
like the soul going towards the soul’s Beloved.
Without hands or feet, travel toward Timelessness
just as spirits flee from non-existence.
…By God, don’t linger
in any spiritual benefit you have gained,
but yearn for more like one suffering from illness
whose thirst for water is never quenched…
Leave the seat of honor behind:
the Journey is your seat of honor.
May you be blessed this season, wherever you are and in whatever combination of lightness and darkness you find yourself.