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The Art of Blessing the Day

I am taking a few days off from digital technologies. I am traveling to an area where the only Internet access is via dial-up. It is not that remote, but it is probably the imperfect alignment of satellites, mountains, and other geographic features.

Having said this, it is nice to take a break. I spend considerable time between social media and dissertation writing on computers. Sometimes the imperfections of the world and the universe act in ways that bring about a necessary change.

Marge Piercy’s poem suggests we bless everything we can. In the busyness and hurry of life, we run past much of life and forget blessing. I have a few days to count my blessings in quiet moments away from the hectic.

This is the blessing for rain after drought:
Come down, wash the air so it shimmers,
a perfumed shawl of lavender chiffon.
Let the parched leaves suckle and swell.
Enter my skin, wash me for the little
chrysalis of sleep rocked in your plashing.
In the morning the world is peeled to shining.

This is the blessing for sun after long rain:
Now everything shakes itself free and rises.
The trees are bright as pushcart ices.
Every last lily opens its satin thighs.
The bees dance and roll in pollen
and the cardinal at the top of the pine
sings at full throttle, fountaining.

This is the blessing for a ripe peach:
This is luck made round. Frost can nip
the blossom, kill the bee. It can drop,
a hard green useless nut. Brown fungus,
the burrowing worm that coils in rot can
blemish it and wind crush it on the ground.
Yet this peach fills my mouth with juicy sun.

This is the blessing for the first garden tomato:
Those green boxes of tasteless acid the store
sells in January, those red things with the savor
of wet chalk, they mock your fragrant name.
How fat and sweet you are weighing down my palm,
warm as the flank of a cow in the sun.
You are the savor of summer in a thin red skin.

This is the blessing for a political victory:
Although I shall not forget that things
work in increments and epicycles and sometime
leaps that half the time fall back down,
let’s not relinquish dancing while the music
fits into our hips and bounces our heels.
We must never forget, pleasure is real as pain.

The blessing for the return of a favorite cat,
the blessing for love returned, for friends’
return, for money received unexpected,
the blessing for the rising of the bread,
the sun, the oppressed. I am not sentimental
about old men mumbling the Hebrew by rote
with no more feeling than one says gesundheit.

But the discipline of blessings is to taste
each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet
and the salty, and be glad for what does not
hurt. The art is in compressing attention
to each little and big blossom of the tree

of life, to let the tongue sing each fruit,
its savor, its aroma and its use.

Attention is love, what we must give
children, mothers, fathers, pets,
our friends, the news, the woes of others.
What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

31 responses »

  1. Beautiful reminder Ivon….enjoy your time away!!!

    Reply
  2. Oh wow, I love this one! I will be using it, perhaps in verses at a time, on my blog. Thanks for sharing and have a great time away the world’s madness. Blessings, Natalie :)

    Reply
  3. It sounds lovely. Are you going camping?
    I remember when I was younger and out kayakingfor weeks without mail or a phone. After two weeks living by the sea, I felt that I didn’t need any post or anything….
    Thank you for sharing the poem.

    Reply
    • I didn’t camp, but spent time at my brother’s farm so I was outdoors a bit. He is in one of those places where the satellites and towers do not bring him high speed Internet. It worked fine. We had great conversations.

      Reply
  4. open joy
    ~
    offline
    connections

    Reply
  5. ‘and be glad for what does not hurt’…I love that!

    Reply
  6. Thank you Ivon. This was powerful for me today. Enjoy the break and a different kind of connection!
    Val

    Reply
  7. Beautiful. I love this and can relate to the necessary detachment of my dependence on things which do not have to define me. I have been so engulfed by the comings and goings of life that I fail to capture the sweetness of present moment. That’s where the miracles happen.
    Safe travels

    Reply
  8. i think i will start doing it!

    Reply
  9. Reblogged this on newbloggycat and commented:
    Beautiful poem ♡

    Reply
  10. I appreciate the wisdom in your writing. Thank you very much for reminding the true way of living life to the fullest. I wish you a blissful time and hope you will be back with much more blessings to share with us here.

    “Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.”
    ― Steve Maraboli,

    Reply
  11. Enjoy your time away. :)

    Reply
  12. It is good to take time out, it rebalances.

    Reply
  13. Love Marge – I think I own everything she’s written. Have a good ‘retreat.’

    Reply
  14. What a beautiful poem, most definitely the best way to look at life! :)

    Reply
  15. There are blessings all around us. Including this.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  16. I loved the poem you posted here especially the ending…

    “What we want to change we curse and then
    pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
    with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
    can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.”

    How true, how apt, how appropriate!

    Reply

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