Articles/Essays – Volume 53, No. 3

A Blessing for Starting Over

First, bless the burst of anger; its force will get you free.

Then, bless the tears that follow; they will provide new sight.

Bless your bare feet as you put them on the earth. Run.

Bless your toes when they bleed.

They may be small but they don’t shrink from working and feeling.

Just like your broken nails, your scarred belly, your startled mind.

So bless them as well.

Bless the clothes that have covered you, then leave them at the shore.
Walk into the water until it covers you, lift your feet,
and recite a known prayer over yourself. Twice.
Any known prayer will do.

If you come from ocean, taste salt.
If you come from scrub, burn sage.
If you come from desert, offer pollen.
If you come from prairie, grind grain.

Bless the freshly floured board.
Bless the blank page,
The bare canvas.
Bless the fact that these simple things have a place in your life.

And bless your actual life, the life you made,
The bodies you gather in at night,
The ones who trust you for light, soup, and blankets.
Bless the parts of you that stayed behind to hold it all together,
So that other parts could run to survive.

They are the stubborn ones hiding in the hills among the bones of wild horses.
They are the tough ones sheltered under the concrete hum of highway overpasses.
They are the beautiful ones who refuse to surrender the meadow or the moon to sleep.
They are the burning ones who go about in strange cities discovering whole alphabets.

One of them is on her way home now.
With these words I bless her.
Offer her light, soup, and blankets.
Hear what she has to say.
Hear again for the first time
the sound of your actual name.

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