At Christmas last year (2010) we went through the Peace Labyrinth here in Christchurch and I was particularly effected by a poem I read by John O’Donohue.
Consequently I ordered this book ‘Benedictus – A Book of Blessings’ by John O’Donohue.
It arrived this week and although I’ll probably review it at some point in the year as a book of the month I wanted to share a poem out of it today. I love that it is a book full of blessings.
From the little bits I’ve read so far I think these words are going to be a balm and a blessing to me. I love his gentle profound way with word and thought.
For One Who Is Exhausted
When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the soul like an endless, increasing weight.
The light of the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laboursome events of will.
Weariness invades your spirit
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.
The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.
You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken in the race days.
At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like a listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.
You have travelled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.
Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of colour
That fostered the brightness of day.
Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.
Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.
Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells deep within slow time.
I love these words, this slow and calm reflection from the hectic pace I sometimes live. ** I have read the copyright in the book and don’t believe it is against copyright to publish this poem. It is a great book if you are looking for some soul-restoring words.