Friday, March 07, 2008

A Blessing for Equilibrium

Balancing Act
Originally uploaded by Sassy_Pixie

When I first opened my eyes this morning I was shocked to discover I had overslept by an entire hour on a workday.
I closed my eyes again.
And listened to the rain.
Was it on time or had it arrived early? I couldn’t recall the forecast, so I let that question slide.
And listened to the rain.

“I’m just going to be late.”
I reached a hand out to Bennie who was still sound asleep his own self.
“Why is this dog oversleeping too?” though he did stretch and roll over on his back when he felt my touch. Delicious.
Apparently, he was opting for more sleep.
We had both had troubled nights. He’d had a choking reverse breathing episode.
I had had a troubled dream and then slept sitting-up in hopes that an incipient migraine would clear up on its own.
No migraine now, just the quiet rain,
and the missing hour.

“OK, Bennie, we’ve got to get up now.”
Well, he thought that was a great idea.
It meant breakfast, which he calls “dinner,” and I debated the wisdom of my nomenclature as I watched him clear off the bed.
It meant a chew and harassing the cat.
Yeah, Bennie was all for getting up.
I was still ambivalent.
I hobbled slowly on feet swollen from poor circulation and numbed by deadened nerves,
straight to the coffee pot.

“I’m just going to be late.”
And the time passed, kind of in these half hour increments of tasks,
feeling relaxed almost like a weekend,
until eventually I found myself rinsing off the dishes in the kitchen sink.

I’d just called out, “SQUIRREL!”
which sent Bennie whirling out through his doggie door, the chase totally engaged,
squirrels scattering in all directions, Bennie boinging straight into the air like some spring lamb, as Louis Armstrong quietly intoned, “what a wonderful world,”

when I heard from deep inside, not so much precise words,
but the gentle Irish burr and rhythmic lapping
of this blessing by John O’Donohue.

And I knew I’d have to share it with you. Notice that if you are the least bit hurried as you read, the rhythm gets messed up. This blessing almost insists that one slow down.

from ‘Benedictus – A Book of Blessings

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the music of laughter break through your soul.

As the wind wants to make everything dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.

Like the freedom of the monastery bell,
May clarity of mind make your eyes smile.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May a sense of irony give you perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May fear or worry never put you in chains.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
To hear in the distance the laughter of God.

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