The end is the beginning

We do not belong to ourselves.

Yet, much of the culture around us suggests otherwise.

And it has left us stranded.

So we search around for something or someone who will affirm our belonging as individuals.

While all along, the wild beauty of the invisible world, which is too big and magnificent to be tamed by the current age, reminds us of where we belong.

May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you, mind you and embrace you in belonging.

+ John O’Donohue, excerpt from For Belonging, in Benedictus: A Book of Blessings

Or, in the words of T S Eliot from Little Gidding in Four Quartets:

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always–
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of things shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

You belong.

Pause. See differently. Re-story…

This week

Last weekend, I offered the whole of John O’Donohue’s blessing, For Belonging, as a gift. You can read it here or in his last book, Benedictus: A Book of Blessings, Bantam Press, 2007. Each day this week, I have taken a line from the poem to reflect on further.

A few good words

The latest episode of Be More Poet, published on Friday, also followed a poetic thread, using poems from the midweek Pause for Peace, which I have been writing since the Israel: Gaza war started last October. Preparing and recording the podcast was an extraordinary experience, which I hope you also encounter in the listening…

Be More Poet #9: On Choosing to Pause for Peace – you can find it on my website or wherever you get your podcasts (Be More Poet).