So we have arrived once again on the cusp of celebration, when expectations run high and nerves fray at the edges. In this lovely poem, For The Senses, John O’ Donohue offers us a way through, a way to be for the holidays.
This way demands that we slow down, watch, listen, wait.
May the touch of your skin
Register the beauty
Of the otherness
That surrounds you.
May your listening be attuned
To the deeper silence
Where sound is honed
To bring distance home.
May the fragrance
Of a breathing meadow
Refresh your heart
And remind you you are
A child of the earth.
And when you partake
Of food and drink,
May your taste quicken
To the gift and sweetness
That flows from the earth.
May your inner eye
See through the surfaces
And glean the real presence
Of everything that meets you.
May your soul beautify
The desire of your eyes
That you might glimpse
The infinity that hides
In the simple sights
That seem worn
To your usual eyes.
For the Senses by John O’Donohue in To Bless the Space Between Us
Photo Credit: Rhonda Beck
We are each planted with a spark of light.
Each life is like a fire.
We must take care of that light.
Do not let passions for anything we find delight in
Rage and consume us
In any small or large manner
Or we will dim the fire.
It is made of the love of our parents
It is lit by the Divine within everyone.
We must take care of it.
We each carry light into the world,
Every small and large being.
We share the light with every
Small and large act of compassion.
Laughter and joy make it dance
What will we leave the day as a gift
Of remembrance and thankfulness?
c Joy Harjo November 6, 2013 Grand Rapids, MI dark and rainy
“This is Joy Harjo’s ongoing journal of dreams, stories, poems,music, photographs, and assorted reports from her inner and outer travels about Indian country and the rest of the world .”
Let us, this Thanksgiving Day, tender the embers of love in our lives. And as we love and honor love, let us be mindful of our history of domination in the world, and give thanks for all the good that we have inherited from native peoples.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Recently, a fellow dreamer, Kayla, (www.dreamerly.com) posted this dream:
“Last night my dreams took me to the strangest places – to a little neighborhood of modern buildings nestled among the familiar imagery of my hometown. On our way to our destination, my companion in the dream and I passed a light blue modern structure, a restaurant called “The Almond.” (I think that name is delightful and if I were to start a restaurant, I would surely name it just that!) Our destination in the dream was the house of a woman who served dinner from her home. It was a Sunday, and we were uncertain if she would be serving dinner that night. She was. When we were seated, we were the only ones there, but soon more people came and more and more, so that the room was completely full. A strange feast of the oddest foods was served. It was a marvelous dream, one that evokes memories of Babette’s Feast and that has had me moving through my day with an inward eye and a strange state of mind.”
With Kayla’s nod, I made an attempt to enter her dream and create a poem:
Thirty-Seventh Ave. S.W.
Basks in the glow of yesteryear,
Yester joy, and the abandonment of youth.
Its aura creates an illusion of “All is well,”
When it isn’t….But THIS part is well:
Re-enacting every movie we saw,
I at the top of one vacant lot, a virtual Carol Burnet, singing at the top of my lungs,
“I’m calling you, ooo, ooo, ooo,”
Melania Wozniak echoing from the opposite vacant lot,
“I’m answering you, ooo, ooo, ooo.”
A “gemutlich” time, a hospitable hiatus
From a sometimes inhospitable home.
Out on Thirty-Seventh Ave. S.W.
I didn’t have to fit in where I didn’t fit.
Here, the wild, tomboy-seer
The neighborhood of my youth
Tenders a gift:
“Return to my table and re-member the memories.”
And in the breaking of the bread
© rita h kowats