Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday Poem - Why I prefer funerals

Some day in the near future when I'm given the choice to attend either a wedding or a funeral, I will most likely choose the funeral. Granted I've made it to many weddings and I remember some of them, and a few I will never forget (and no, I will never forget my own stress-inducing, all-day wedding). Nevertheless, no event provides the existential pause, the soul-churning, life-altering experience that is the funeral.

In case someone is watching, I'm sorry I missed your wedding due to illness or fear of flying with a lap child. Rest assured come hell or high water, I'd rather die than miss your funeral.

A poem from Echoes of Memory by John O'Donohue given at a recent funeral:

Beannacht (Blessing)

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light 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.

© John O’Donohue. All rights reserved

1 comment:

Linda said...

It is so great to see how John’s work continues to weave “words of love . . . an invisible cloak, to mind your life.” I want to support you in sharing that inspiration and love; and I am also responsible for minding the technicalities connected with the preservation of John’s estate and literary legacy.

John’s family would be very grateful if you would add to your quote a note that gives the title of the book from which the poem is quoted, as well as the copyright attribution ( © John O’Donohue. All rights reserved). It would also be great if you could provide a link to the web site: — so that those who want to know more about John can come to us!

warmly and with gratitude,