Darkness and light

We blink a thousand times a day. A thousand times a day the world goes dark. A thousand times a day we wake. We can’t escape this opening and closing. Even as you read this, your eyes, along with your heart and mind, are blinking –  opening and closing repeatedly, no matter what you do. It is part of being human.

Yet so much depends on which you see as home – being open or closed. Do you see life as one stream of light interspersed with nights of dark, or as one stream of darkness interspersed with days of light? Though there will never be an answer, what we believe about the nature of life matters. It lifts or burdens our days. So ask yourself, more than once, Is life one long miracle of feeling interspersed with moments of breaking? Do we repeatedly fall into our humanness from never-ending light? Or is life one long painful breaking interspersed with moments of wonder? Do we struggle up from the unending dark briefly into glimpses of light?

Mark Nepo, The Book Of Awakening

A drop of water

Our everyday world may have gotten more restricted; This does not necessarily mean less rich.

A drop of water has the tastes of the water of the seven seas: there is no need to experience all the ways of worldly life.

The reflections of the moon on one thousand rivers are from the same moon:

The mind must be full of light.

Hong Zicheng, Chinese Philosopher, 1572-1620

A steady center

In these days it can be just small things, like the song of a bird….

Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose from
all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.

Arbitrary, sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell where it is, and you
can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path – but that’s when
you get going best, glad to be
lost, learning how real it is
here on the earth, again and again.

William Stafford, Cutting Loose

A Blessing for this day

An unusual St Patrick’s Day when people are fearful, and gatherings are not allowed, in church or in the pub. We need to find resources and blessings within and then extend those blessings to all who are afraid and especially those most vulnerable at this time. 

When the canvas frays in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow wind work these words
of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life.

John O’Donohue, Beannacht

Beannachtai na Féile Padraig oraibh go léir: The blessings of  Saint Patrick’s Day to you all.