Friday, December 19, 2014

light inside the darkness

a blessing

May the blessing of light be on you,
light without and light within
and light inside the darkness within.
May the blessed sunlight shine upon you
and warm your heart till it glows,
like a great peat fire, so that strangers may come
and warm themselves; and that friends may come.
And may the light shine out of the eyes of you,
like a candle set in the windows of a house,
bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you—
the soft, sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit so that the seedlings of light
in your shadow may spring up,
and shed their sweetness on the air.
And may the blessing of the great rains be on you,
that they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool,
and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing for the earth be on you—
the great round earth
who carries all; the great round earth
whose suffering has already become radiant.
May you ever have a kindly greeting for people
you pass as you are going along the roads.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly,
your kin and all creatures.


- adapted from a Scottish prayer by Robert Jonas, in Knitting into the Mystery
For a generally secular soul, I do seem to be attracted to blessings and prayers. I thought this one was worth noting for its appearance in the the book, Knitting into the Mystery.

I know many readers of CT are also knitters, and have probably thought about the contemplative aspect of it. The lilt and the rhythm and the repetition of knitting - these are also poetic qualities. I think I'm partly attracted to the rhythm of poems that happen to be blessings. 

What I've been thinking about this week a fair bit: introversion. Naturally, at this time of year articles on the topic will pop up here and there. I read "An Introvert's Guide to Surviving the Holidays," noting that it's written pseudonymously. I suppose introverts still risk offending extroverts.....

It's complicated being an introvert and I have to admit, I generally dislike articles explaining introverts as if the state of introversion is some big mysterious thing. I know many who have read and admired Susan Cain's book, Quiet. I haven't been able to bring myself to read it. I feel like I spend a lot of time living and navigating introversion and I don't need more. Her manifesto might be helpful for some though.

If all else fails, there's always wine.

Just kidding. Sort of. My advice for introverts this holiday season? Say no when you need to, lie if you have to. Don't feel guilty. Pick and choose. Read poetry. Knit. Write poetry. Paint a picture, or draw. Make something. Listen to music - just that - don't do anything but listen. Enjoy all the people. Leave early. Find a way to clear your mind afterwards. Watch a movie or read a previously read novel. (Jane Austen usually saves me at this time of year).  

What have I missed?


  1. A beautiful post and exactly what I needed this morning. I wish you all of the best this holiday season : )

    1. Thank you, Vicki. I'm glad. Wishing you all good (and calm) things, too!

  2. Lie if you have to. Yes. I'm a great believer in the little white "we already have plans that night" lie. Who's to know? The plans could be sitting around in PJs watching Breaking Bad. They're still plans.

  3. Thank you for this reminder. While I already do these self-preserving things, it is more difficult to manage at Christmastime amid the flurry of parties and holiday expectations, especially in a family of extroverts. Thank you.

  4. ...take photos, edit photos, post photos :) I love your warm festive images! And I wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas...from your introvert friend, Susan xxoo

    1. How could I have forgotten 'take photos!' Thanks, Susan and Merry Christmas to you!!

  5. Wow, you are a Bokeh Magician, Shawna. Very cool.

    Have a quite, contemplative, warm, fuzzy Christmas, with lots of wine and cookies.

  6. I had a good chuckle about the wine bit. I haven't read Quiet either, though its been waiting on the bookshelf here for years, I would highly recommend The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney - this book gave me an inward confidence and understanding of the whys of introversion from a physiological/neurological perspective. Thank goodness for Jane Austen! xo


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