I enter my new family,
May they be delighted
At how their kindness
Comes into blossom.
Unknown to me and them,
May I be exactly the one
To restore in their forlorn places
New vitality and promise.
May the hearts of others
Hear again the music
In the lost echoes
Of their neglected wonder.
If my destiny is sheltered,
May the grace of this privilege
Reach and bless the other infants
Who are destined for torn places.
If my destiny is bleak,
May I find in myself
A secret stillness
Beneath the turmoil.
May my eyes never lose sight
Of why I have come here,
That I never be claimed
By the falsity of fear
Or eat the bread of bitterness.
In everything I do, think,
Feel, and say,
May I allow the light
Of the world I am leaving
To shine through and carry me home.
~~ John O'Donohue
(To Bless the Space Between Us)
Then you’ll be alone.
Wait for the playground to empty.
Then call out those companions from childhood:
The one who closed his eyes
and pretended to be invisible.
The one to whom you told every secret.
The one who made a world of any hiding place.
And don’t forget the one who listened in silence
while you wondered out lout:
Is the universe an empty mirror? A flowering tree?
Is the universe the sleep of a woman?
Wait for the sky’s last blue
(the color of your homesickness).
Then you’ll know the answer.
Wait for the air’s first gold (that color of Amen).
Then you’ll spy the wind’s barefoot steps.
Then you’ll recall that story beginning
with a child who strays in the woods.
The search for him goes on in the growing
shadow of the clock.
And the face behind the clock’s face
is not his father’s face.
And the hands behind the clock’s hands
are not his mother’s hands.
All of Time began when you first answered
to the names your mother and father gave you.
Soon, those names will travel with the leaves.
Then, you can trade places with the wind.
Then you’ll remember your life
as a book of candles,
each page read by the light of its own burning.
Li-Young Lee ~
(Behind My Eyes)