I wrote this in honor of my father-in-law, who always spoke the blessing at family gatherings. I was sitting with the approach of our first family gathering at which he would not be there to speak the blessing. I'm sharing it here because I know there are others who have had to face the same moment. This gave me comfort, may it do the same for you and your family.
Who Will Speak the Blessing?
Heads are bowed,
eyes are closed,
yet no voice is raised.
Who will speak the blessing?
Without agreeing to,
we left a space in the
One day, we know the circle
will close, and we will fill the space,
but for now, who will speak
Today, we simply let the
the echo of our loss,
reverberating in the space
No one speaks the blessing.
Hands instinctively reach one
for the other,
hearts join in a moment of shared
grief and grace,
transforming the silence.
Love speaks the blessing.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
I sit beside the river and pray.
There are no words to my prayer,
there is only me in the silence, prayerful,
waiting for the words to form that can express the longing of my soul for reunion.
The longing of my soul for the Beloved,
the one I have felt,
to appear, to take form before me.
A tail thrashes and breaks the surface of the water.
Raindrops form perfect circles as they rejoin their kin in the river.
With its prize firmly grasped in its talons, an osprey shakes off the water like a dog,
following a perfect dive below the surface.
All touch and transform the ever flowing waters.
The Beloved recognized in each raindrop and ripple,
in each dive below the surface,
and in each stirring that reaches out from within.
I am afraid.
It was one line from a song I heard a few days ago. It caught my attention. We all feel afraid in some aspect of our lives. We are afraid to fail, we are afraid to succeed, we are afraid to love and even to be loved, we are afraid to take a risk, we are afraid to be alone, we are afraid we will be bad parents, we are afraid to let our loved ones down, we are afraid we will get sick, we are afraid of the unknown, we are afraid of each other. There is so much we fear at one point or another and yet we rarely talk about our fears, some don’t talk about them at all. Without looking at them or facing them, they just continue to live within us.
One of my greatest fears is that I won’t live my purpose, my purpose to listen the way I know how to listen, and share what I hear. There, I said it, and the world didn’t come to an end because I was afraid, but my dream could end if I don’t move past the fear. The sad truth is that often we let the fear we feel, create the very thing we fear. I will choose to feel the fear and continue to move forward anyway. A great lesson I learned from a great man, civil rights leader James Farmer. Courage, he told me, is not the absence of fear, but the choice to move forward despite the fear. Courageous people are not fearless, but they won’t let their fear make them less.
Looking upon my fear with as much grace and courage as I can muster, I set it aside.
For years I have struggled with how I can best live my purpose in this life. It’s clear to me that one thing I’ve come here to do is to listen, to listen to individuals, and to listen to the words that move through my heart. The words sometimes come from a bird, a tree, or a flower. Sometimes they come from the inspiration and insights of a great teacher. Sometimes they come from a photograph or a song, or people I know, or even people I haven’t met. There are stories and poetry all around in this beautiful, grace filled life. Always, always the true origin of the words is Spirit.
The struggle is always what to do with those words. So far, I have shared them as best I can. The constant I have always known about them is that they were always meant to speak from the heart of Spirit, to my heart, to the hearts of others. They are meant to create transformation; a kind of alchemy between the spirit and the human. I know this because I have witnessed it within my own heart. I have witnessed it in the process of writing; watching the pain flow freely and by the end of the flow of the words, discovering that healing was woven within them. My heart’s desire is no more than to offer that same alchemy, that same opportunity for healing to others.
I am afraid though. I’m afraid because I don’t know what that looks like; I don’t know the plan for that sharing. That fear often distracts me and keeps me from doing anything at all. Even when I know part of the plan, I can still let that fear of the unknown stop me. Not this time.
At the beginning of the year I felt a calling, a nudge, an inspiration. I don’t have to know more than this one thing: the words are meant to reach out one heart at a time. For now that is all I need to know, and I do know it, deep within me. So I am consciously, mostly joyfully, birthing what came to me as One Heart at a Time.
To begin with I will be sharing poetry on my blog and on Facebook and potentially other social media platforms. Perhaps it will be just one poem a month, but with intention. The intention is that the poem be shared, one heart at a time. I invite you, if the poem speaks to you, to share it with other hearts, and to encourage them if they feel called to, to share it with other hearts. Share it in any way you like, in person with a loved one, online, in school, at church, at a poetry reading, however you feel called to. All I ask is that you note where it came from – with Peace, Gratitude, and Love from my heart to yours.