Tuesday, March 31, 2020

We Can Do Hard Things, Tuesday 3/31/20

...when you feel yourself age, the tweak of a knee the rogue hair the thinning lip the vertical crease the sprinkle of gray like rain. I feel so tender these days, so empty of bitter the usual anger just barely nipping at my heels easier to kick off leave behind. Why did I hate this fold of skin, this lushness? I don't actually have more time, nor am I somehow using time differently the day becomes night quicker like in a hospital when (while) everyone waits.

by John O'Donohue

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets into you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green
and azure blue,
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

from Echoes of Memory (Transworld Publishing, 2010)
This poem is included in the second edition of Tools of the Trade: Poems for new doctors (Scottish Poetry Library, 2016).


  1. That poem is perhaps the most beautiful prayer I have ever read. I, too, am having the sensation of the days passing quickly, it's evening before I realized it was afternoon, and yet they sit more lightly on my head. I appreciate the moments more. And you are beautiful.

  2. As Rosemarie said- you are beautiful. As is that light, as is that poem.

  3. You make me like poetry. Thank you.

    Sending hugs.

  4. abundant appreciation from me, my friend. Aging is such a strange thing visited upon us. But then I look at my 93 year old neighbor and I laugh at my concern and minute observations!

    The poem is quite comforting. Love you for posting it.

  5. I love all of his blessings, every one, but this one is the most perfect for these strange times. Thank you. You are beautiful and wise, and old age will welcome you with open arms, thrilled to count you among its privileged members.

  6. I've not minded the Aging Process either, it's a privilege not afforded to many and I've found a certain Calmness about it that I likely lacked in Youth.



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