Monday, March 14, 2011

John O'Donohue: For Lost Friends

For Lost Friends

As twilight makes a rainbow robe
From the concealed colors of day
In order for time to stay alive
Within the dark weight of night,
May we lose no one we love
From the shelter of our hearts.

When we love another heart
And allow it to love us,
We journey deep below time
Into that eternal weave
Where nothing unravels.

May we have the grace to see
Despite the hurt of rupture,
The searing of anger,
And the empty disappointment,
That whoever we have loved,
Such love can never quench.

Though a door may have closed,
Closed between us,
May we be able to view
Our lost friends with eyes
Wise with calming grace;
Forgive them the damage
We were left to inherit;

Free ourselves from the chains
Of forlorn resentment;
Bring warmth again to
Where the heart has frozen
In order that beyond the walls
Of our cherished hurt
And chosen distance
We may be able to
Celebrate the gifts they brought,
Learn and grow from the pain,
And prosper into difference,
Wishing them the peace
Where spirit can summon
Beauty from wounded space.

~ John O'Donohue ~

(To Bless the Space Between Us)

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Old Age is a Gift

Thank you to my dear friend, Lynn, who first shared this with me...

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.

Old Age, I've decided, is a gift.I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be.

Oh, not my body ... the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends,my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need,but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's,and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.They, too, will get old.I know I am sometimes forgetful.But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.

So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think.

I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question,I like being old — it has set me free.I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

(Contributed by Gabrielle who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico)


When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it's bottomless, that it doesn't have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space. - Pema Chodron

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Blue

The Blue

You can have Egypt and Nantucket.
The only place I want to visit is The Blue,
not the Wild Blue Yonder that seduces pilots,
but that zone where the unexpected dwells,
waiting to come out of it in the shape of bolts.

I want to walk its azure perimeter
where the unanticipated is coiled, on the mark,
ready to spring into the predicitable homes of earth.

I want to stroll through the pale indigo light
examining all the accidents about to rocket into time,
all the forgotten names about to fly from tongues.

I will scrutinize all the surprises of the future
and watch the brainstorms gathering darkly,
ready to hit the heads of inventors
laboring in their crackpot shacks.

A jaded traveler with an invisible passport,
I am at home with this heaven of the unforeseen,
waiting for the next whoosh of sudden departure
when, with no advance warning, to tiny augery,
the unpredictable plummets into our lives
from somewhere that looks like sky.

~ Billy Collins ~

(The Apple That Astonished Paris)

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