Friday, March 28, 2014

every flower and leaf

“One of the deepest and strangest of all human moods is the mood which will suddenly strike us perhaps in a garden at night, or deep in sloping meadows, the feeling that every flower and leaf has just uttered something stupendously direct and important, and that we have by a prodigy of imbecility not heard or understood it. There is a certain poetic value, and that a genuine one, in this sense of having missed the full meaning of things. There is beauty, not only in wisdom, but in this dazed and dramatic ignorance.”

- G.K. Chesterton

I thought it might be time for us to hear this blessing again:

For the Artist at the Start of the Day

by John O'Donohue

May morning be astir with the harvest of night;
Your mind quickening to the eros of a new question,
Your eyes seduced by some unintended glimpse
That cut right through the surface to a source.

May this be a morning of innocent beginning,
When the gift within you slips clear
Of the sticky web of the personal
With its hurt and its hauntings,
And fixed fortress corners,

A Morning when you become a pure vessel
For what wants to ascend from silence,

May your imagination know
The grace of perfect danger,

To reach beyond imitation,
And the wheel of repetition,

Deep into the call of all
The unfinished and unsolved

Until the veil of the unknown yields
And something original begins
To stir toward your senses
And grow stronger in your heart

In order to come to birth
In a clean line of form,
That claims from time
A rhythm not yet heard,
That calls space to
A different shape.

May it be its own force field
And dwell uniquely
Between the heart and the light

To surprise the hungry eye
By how deftly it fits
About its secret loss.

And here's another blessing from John O'Donohue's To Bless the Space Between Us:

For the Traveler

Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.

"When you travel, a new silence goes with you."

Calm Things is taking a small blog holiday. Spring Break is next week for our daughter, and we're taking a trip together, the first in a couple of years.

I'm looking forward to a week of being attentive, to freeing my heart of all its ballast.

And I've heard from my publisher that Asking will be back from the printers this coming Monday. So I should have a copy upon my arrival back in Edmonton. If you've pre-ordered it from Chapters or Amazon, you should also be getting yours soon! My Edmonton launch is set for Thursday evening, April 17th at Audreys Books.

In the meantime, I'm wishing you a week of calm things.


May your imagination know
The grace of perfect danger

May your coming week be filled with creativity
with joy
and may it be steeped
with the full meaning of things.



  1. oh dear shawna ...
    have a simply wonderful time.
    i know you will!
    i'll be ordering from amazon. thank you!!!

  2. Have a wonderful, refreshing time away in the big apple. We will all await your return, hopeful for news from abroad and little glimpses of loving heart talks. Safe and happy travels.

  3. Have a joyful time together... I wish all of you happy insightful travels... as i am sure they
    will be a good inspiration for your posts... we will be waiting for your return..

  4. Have a wonderful time with your family! I pre-ordered my copy a while ago...I'll be anxiously waiting by my mailbox!

  5. Such marvelous blessings...may you be blessed.


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