Next Assignment: El Santuario
To those who seek a pathway nearly occluded.
To any who wake up…
like an exultation of larks,
seeing beauty most everywhere.
To those who walk without skin.
To those who walk wise-awake.
Those who have kept a place for
the sacrament of imagination.
To those irked but who remember
is very young…
and the soul is very old…
in the next few days,
I’ll post some pictures
medicine for remembering.
Til then, only this, one of my favorite assignments to give out… and to try to live myself… a tiny breathing meditation I’ve undertaken for decades now…
Just for a moment, take a deep breath and… up up up and away, fly…
just for a moment… fly over the water, feel the warmth of the beautiful sun…
fly, fly… again deep breath, breathe this clear clear air in…
fly, fly…. look down… deep breath, look down on this earth …
another deep breath and on exhalation send blessing down on us all…
as many times as you wish, deep breath, send blessing;
deep breath, send blessing down on all of us…
for everything on earth also breathes out:
singers, chanters, trees, children,
everything that breathes is blessing you in return…
while you fly, fly, fly, look down, taking deep slow breaths
and blessing us all.
Long ago, in your ancestry and mine, regardless of what nation or people long past, no matter how mixed or single kind, when anyone left the village, the encampment to go to their day, they were blessed by an elder at the door. Now, it’s the trolley man or the cabbie or whomever first speaks to us on any morning who might acknowledge that we exist and thereby in some sideways manner, bless us on our way this day. But if no one at all stands to bless us, we can bless each other.
What is blessing? Stating some version of recognition of the value of the heart, soul, body, mind and spirit of one to another, or both to each other.
Blessing went something like this from several of the old people of my immigrant father’s family. The old people kept vials of water blessed by a holy person (a person they found to be holy, not ‘the certified holy-moleys’ as my grandmother used to say).
We’d be lightly sprinkled with the special water while the blessing was said. Blessings were said with one hand on our shoulder or atop our heads. A blessing could go on for minutes, depending on how anxious or loving or heartfelt the blesser and blessee were. This is one of the blessings my father used to give me when he was still alive. It is a blessing for a long travel. The last time he blessed me was l ong ago now. I was 53 and he was 87. Dad was a brutal, fierce, funny, and tender man. He took blessing seriously. Those who had a similar kind of complex parent, would likely understand this immediately: I miss him like fire.
A Father’s Blessing
Let you be strong in your strengths and not lie down in your weaknesses, crossing easily over any peril. May you be watched over my child always, until you are safely returned home to us once again.