“Blessings for a New Position,” To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings
May your new work excite your heart,
Kindle in your mind creativity
To journey beyond the old limits
Of all that has become wearisome.
May this work challenge you toward
New frontiers that will emerge
As you begin to approach them,
Calling forth from you the full force
And depth of your undiscovered gifts.
May the work fit the rhythms of your soul,
Enabling you to draw from the invisible
New ideas and a vision that will inspire.
Remember to be kind
To those who work for you,
Endeavor to remain aware
Of the quiet world
That lives behind each face.
Be fair in your expectations,
Compassionate in your criticism.
May you have the grace of encouragement
To awaken the gift in the other’s heart,
Building in them the confidence
To follow the call of the gift.
May you come to know that work
Which emerges from the mind of love
Will have beauty and form.
May this new work be worthy
Of the energy of your heart
And the light of your thought.
May your work assume
A proper space in your life;
Instead of owning or using you,
May it challenge and refine you,
Bringing you every day further
Into the wonder of your heart.
– John O’Donohue, “Blessings for a New Position,” To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings (2008)
TOMORROW ISN’T GUARANTEED:
My mom answered the phone and all you could hear was a woman’s voice yelling “Get up here. Get up here!” After the woman calmed down my Mom found out my Grandfather had a heart attack while sitting on the porch of their country cottage in upstate NY.
I watched as my Mom and Dad raced upstairs to get some things and ran to the car and took off in a panic for upstate NY from Long Island. My Dad was a former NYC cop so he turned a usually 2-3 hour trip into 90 minutes by driving 100mph.
When my Dad called that night I asked how Grandpa was doing and he just said in a soft scratchy voice, I’ll tell you everything tomorrow. I was in 8th grade at the time and went to school the next day thinking everything was going to be fine.
Just after lunch I got called to the Principal’s office and was told my Dad was waiting for me in his car outside. When I got in the car I saw tears in my Dad’s eyes. I don’t think I ever saw him cry before so I knew the news wasn’t good. “How’s Grandpa,” I asked?
“Grandpa didn’t make it,” he said choking on his words. “He died last night.” Those words still bring me to tears even now as I write this 36 years later. I just broke down and cried and cried and cried.
When I walked in the front door my Mom was there waiting for me. We hugged and just cried together.
I never had anyone close to me die before. It didn’t seem real. My mind couldn’t accept it. Each day I woke up thinking it was just a bad dream… but it wasn’t. He had a massive heart attack while my Grandmother was cooking in the kitchen and he died instantly.
I learned that day about the fragility of life. One minute you are here and the next you are gone. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
Yet over time you forget. You forget about the temporary nature of life. You forget about your own mortality. You forget that life can be lost and your world can change in a moment… until a day like yesterday when the world learned that Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and several of their friends.
When I heard the news I felt once again like that 8th grade kid… shocked, sad, heartbroken and hoping and praying it wasn’t true. I hate when we’re reminded of the fragility of life. I always think people are going to live forever until they don’t. Even after my Grandparents passed away I never thought my parents would die until I saw them go. I hate it even more when it’s so sudden. I never got to say goodbye to my Grandfather and my heart breaks for Kobe’s family and friends that didn’t get to say goodbye to him and his daughter.
Life is fragile. We don’t know when our time is up. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for any of us. So let’s not go through the motions. Let’s care more and put our heart and soul into our life and our relationships today.
NOW is the time to create our masterpiece.
Letting Music Speak, When We Have No Words…
Here is a set list that might allow you to feel what words cannot say.
Filled with both rebellion and surrender, emotional honesty and spiritual release, heartbreak and loss as well as hope for a better tomorrow and a better self and from a variety of genres to appeal to many palettes, I hope something speaks to your heart, mood and deepest of feelings…
Don’t have/use Spotify?
Here are direct links to the set list:
- We are not gonna take this – The Who https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqmC1T9rukk
- Why Me? – Kris Kristofferson and others https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f38gW5Jm-Hs
- If I needed you – John Williams and Emmylou Harris https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHoAg-LlVVM
- If this is goodbye – Mark Knofler and Emmylou Harris https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK_9ppta_M0
- Wildflowers by Tom Petty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AldoDm2bV04
- Wild Montana Skies – John Denver https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wztUGHnSmAM
- Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrLk4vdY28Q
- My Sweet Lord – George Harrison https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qJTJNfzvr8
- Give me Love, give me Peace on Earth – George Harrison https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-KAvPbO8JY
Why in this Modern Age do we Venerate Action and Vilify Reflection?
We can learn a thing or two from the animal kingdom…
CORONA VIRUS UPDATE (2019-nCoV)
Outbreaks of virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on characteristics of the virus, including whether and how well it spreads between people, the severity of resulting illness, and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccine or treatment meds). Investigations are ongoing to learn more, but person-to-person spread of 2019-nCoV is occurring. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China. Person-to-person spread in the United States has not yet been detected, but it’s likely to occur to some extent. While CDC considers this is a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time. CDC is taking proactive preparedness precautions.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Right now, 2019-nCoV has not been found to be spreading in the United States, so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public to take. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- All maintenance and cleaning staff should wear appropriate PPEs while cleaning or servicing public areas.
While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:
- For everyone: It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting vaccinated, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
Safety and HR are monitoring bulletins and information from CDC and the World Health Organization. We will update the situation and advise as appropriate.
Thanks this week go to John O c/o Danny F, Jon G c/o Larry H, Eric K, & Bob C
What can you do today to pay it forward?
“If you have to ask what Jazz is you will never know” –Louis Armstrong