Blessings

30 01 2009

Back into the swing of work as January ends…  Today I have spent quite a lot of time cultivating some words for a family’s blessing, thanksgiving and celebration gathering that will happen on Sunday afternoon.

Since buying the book last year, I have mostly only cribbed phrases or, on occasion, whole blessings from John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings.  It has been a nice thing to have a spacious enough day to read some of the essays in the book.  Having struggled to find the right words for blessing two beautiful children on Sunday whose family has a diversity of views about spirituality, I found helpful O Donohue’s clarity about the shape of a blessing:

A blessing is a difficult form to render.  I have endeavoured to write them as poetically as possible, but they are not poems.  A poem is an utterly independent linguistic object.  It begins with its first syllable and ends with the last; in between it is its own forcefield.  In contrast the blessing for has an eye to the outside in order to embrace and elevate whatever is happening to someone.  It is direct address, driven by immediacy and care” (emphasis mine).

He also says The quiet eternal that dwells in our souls is silent and subtle; in the activity of blessing it emerges to embrace and nurture us…

Back to weeding and watering the words I think…

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