a blessing you seek…

 “While It Was Still Dark” - Jan Richardson

 

RISEN
For Easter Day

If you are looking
for a blessing,
do not linger
here.

Here
is only
emptiness,
a hollow,
a husk
where a blessing
used to be.

This blessing
was not content
in its confinement.

It could not abide
its isolation,
the unrelenting silence,
the pressing stench
of death.

So if it is
a blessing
you seek,
open your own
mouth.

Fill your lungs
with the air
this new
morning brings

and then
release it
with a cry.

Hear how the blessing
breaks forth
in your own voice,

how your own lips
form every word
you never dreamed
to say.

See how the blessing
circles back again,
wanting you to
repeat it,
but louder,

how it draws you,
pulls you,
sends you
to proclaim
its only word:

Risen.
Risen.
Risen.

 

 

More than ever, I am mindful of how John’s Gospel tells us Mary Magdalene went to the tomb while it was still dark and found it already empty. I am relying on that beautiful detail: that even when all seems to be in shadow, the work of Easter has already begun. On this very different resurrection day, this blessing is for you.


Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

Image: “While It Was Still Dark”
© janrichardsonimages.com

lift your voice – in laughter, in weeping

BLESSING THAT BECOMES EMPTY AS IT GOES

This blessing
keeps nothing
for itself.
You can find it
by following the path
of what it has let go,
of what it has learned
it can live without.

Say this blessing out loud
a few times
and you will hear
the hollow places
within it,
how it echoes
in a way
that gives your voice
back to you
as if you had never
heard it before.

Yet this blessing
would not be mistaken
for any other,
as if,
in its emptying,
it had lost
what makes it
most itself.

It simply desires
to have room enough
to welcome
what comes.

Today,
it’s you.

So come and sit
in this place
made holy
by its hollows.
You think you have
too much to do,
too little time,
too great a weight
of responsibility
that none but you
can carry.

I tell you,
lay it down.
Just for a moment,
if that’s what you
can manage at first.
Five minutes.
Lift up your voice—
in laughter,
in weeping,
it does not matter—
and let it ring against
these spacious walls.

Do this
until you can hear
the spaces within
your own breathing.
Do this
until you can feel
the hollow in your heart
where something
is letting go,
where something
is making way.


Quote: Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

Image: “In the Emptying” © janrichardsonimages.com
(Inspired by Philippians 2)

Invisible cloak

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.


Quote: John O’Donohue —

Excerpt from ‘Beannacht’ in his book: To Bless The Space Between Us

Photo: Ann Cahill – County Clare/Ireland

Living gratefully

 

There are many things to be grateful “for” but,
as I ripen with the seasons of life,
the many reasons blend into a sacred mystery.
And, most deeply,
I realize that living gratefully is its own blessing.


Quote: Michael Mahoney
Photo: Susanne Pälmer

https://gratefulness.org

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