I cling to the words of others when I have none of my own or when I am simply unable to untangle the ones that are tied up in knots inside my head. I have on my bedside table a few books of blessings, prayers, and poetry for times such as this. They are small and linen-bound, full of comfort and wisdom. The light-filled words inside them give me perspective in times of worry, growth, longing, exhaustion, new beginnings, thanksgiving and despair. They are a true gift, these words, like balloons of hope that lift me up to keep going when the day is long and hard, and then with the same token, guide me to give praise for having a long and hard day in the first place.
Today I planned on sharing our nature mobile I made last week with you plus a little tour of our playroom in the loft. While a part of me thinks that is utterly futile in the wake of what is going on in our country, I also happen to believe sharing joy and beauty and by continuing to make things we love is a beautiful and worthy contribution to the world, especially when pain is raw.
But today I have something else. And while I don’t want to get into politics here because I have no hopes to influence anyone one way or another, I do want to share some words that are giving me peace right now. Words I have read before when feuding with a dear friend. Words I’ve poured over and underlined when wanting to check out of a relationship with someone close who has hurt me. Words that I return to now as a reminder that love over fear in a time of conflict is the only path towards peace. And as I see our nation divided and confused, and fearful, the love found folded in between the layers of peace and hope is what I am going to strive towards, especially as a mother who is raising babies in the middle of this great tear that is causing so much despair among so many.
For Love In a Time of Conflict
When the gentleness between you hardens
And you fall out of your belonging with each other,
May the depths you have reached hold you still.
When no true word can be said, or heard,
And you mirror each other in the script of hurt,
When even the silence has become raw and torn,
May you hear again an echo of your first music.
When the weave of affection starts to unravel
And anger begins to sear the ground between you,
Before this weather of grief invites
The black seed of bitterness to find root,
May your souls come to kiss.
Now is the time for one of you to be gracious,
To allow a kindness beyond thought and hurt,
Reach out with sure hands
To take the chalice of your love,
And carry it carefully through this echoless waste
Until this winter pilgrimage leads you
Towards the gateway to spring.
By John O’Donohue from To Bless the Space Between Us
*I will not entertain political discussions here. Thank you kindly for understanding.
Leia - Beautiful poem – good for my soul this morning Amanda!
Kylie Kuehl - That is perfect. I wish all Americans could read this and decide to be the one who will be gracious and promote kindness. I also love the part that says “When no true word can be said, or heard,
And you mirror each other in the script of hurt.” That’s what I’ve been thinking (although not as eloquently) for the past few days. Thank you for sharing.
mamahay - These words carry so much power. Thank you.
Carli - What a brilliantly wise poem. Thank you for sharing. Such beauty and timeless truth in those words.
Jessie - A breath of fresh air, balm to the soul. So lovely, friend. So poignant. I just adore your heart and love so much what you bring to this space and to the world. You are a treasure and a light.
(Now to go read more about that book! Sounds like it would be right up my alley. What else is a bedside table for than little books of encouragement and a fresh flower or two? :)) xx
Jessie - Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. Exactly the words I needed to read this morning.
Ina Shry - <3
Lara Weaver - That poem is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. In this “echoless waste” there is a road wending to spring. I will believe that. And fight for the others who will feel the sting of this winter more acutely than I.
ahdra - Beautiful and helpful. I read a quote by Jonathan Larson on Wednesday that really encouraged me…”The opposite of war isn’t peace, it is creation.” I appreciate the loveliness and kindness you create here and it inspires me to do likewise.
Steve Palmer - Thank you.