For Love

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For Love in a time of conflict, (John O’Donohue)

When the gentleness between you hardens
And you fall out of your belonging with each other,
May the depths you have reached hold you still.

When no true word can be said, or heard,
And you mirror each other in the script of hurt,
When even the silence has become raw and torn,
May you hear again an echo of your first music.

When the weave of affection starts to unravel
And anger begins to sear the ground between you,
Before this weather of grief invites
The black seed of bitterness to find root,
May your souls come to kiss.

Now is the time for one of you to be gracious,
To allow a kindness beyond thought and hurt,
Reach out with sure hands
To take the chalice of your love,
And carry it carefully through this echoless waste
Until this winter pilgrimage leads you
Towards the gateway to spring.

Remember this when winter comes

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It’s strange what little memories run through your head… I remember clearly a day on a beach at Cavat… no crowds, warm sun, warm sea and feeling at total peace with the world even though my back was killing me… I was happy.

Hopefully the sun will soon warm the sea again soon.

Never such an apt blessing for these times

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A Blessing for a Friend on the Arrival of Illness
by John O’Donohue

Now is the time of dark invitation
beyond a frontier that you did not expect.
Abruptly your old life seems distant.
You barely noticed how each day opened
a path through fields never questioned
yet expected deep down to hold treasure.

Now your time on earth becomes full of threat.
Before your eyes your future shrinks.
You lived absorbed in the day to day so continuous
with everything around you that you could forget
you were separate.

Now this dark companion has come between you.
Distances have opened in your eyes.
You feel that against your will
A stranger has married your heart.
Nothing before has made you feel so isolated
and lost.

When the reverberations of shock subside in you,
may grace come to restore you to balance.
May it shape a new space in your heart
to embrace this illness as a teacher
who has come to open your life to new worlds.
May you find in yourself a courageous hospitality
towards what is difficult, painful and unknown.

May you use this illness as a lantern
to illuminate the new qualities that will emerge in you.
May your fragile harvesting of this slow light help you
release whatever has become false in you.
May you trust this light to clear a path
through all the fog of old unease and anxiety
until you feel a rising within you,
a tranquility profound enough to call the storm to stillness.

May you find the wisdom to listen to your illness,
ask it why it came,
why it chose your friendship,
where it wants to take you,
what it wants you to know,
what quality of space it wants to create in you,
what you need to learn to become more fully yourself,
that your presence may shine in the world.

May you keep faith with your body,
learning to see it as a holy sanctuary
which can bring this night wound
gradually towards the healing and freedom of dawn.

I believe

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It makes sense now

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It makes sense now,

That  life we no longer have

It wasn’t about what we owned

Or what we bought.

It wasn’t about quick cheap thrills,

Drunken nights and playing the fool.

It is about compassion and kindness,

The sun on our face and dirt on our clothes.

It is about protecting and caring for the people we love,

Even if that comes across as being tough.

It’s the kindness  in eyes reflecting the heart,

The stillness of thoughts in a calm mind,

It’s the calming whisper beating a shout,

Yes, too late, we learn what it’s about.

This topsy turvy world ….

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These are very strange times.   We are in the midst of a world wide emergency the likes of never seen before… and yet people are still being idiots, panic buying and refusing to stay indoors.

For me, it is slightly different as I am diabetic and have high blood pressure and I have been advised to self isolate for 12 weeks.  Ros, with her medical problems, is also self isolating during this period … however, neither of us can completely cut ourselves off from the outside world.

Until funerals become Cremation only (with no service) I have to keep working.  I am arranging family visits by phone and video chat but I do have to turn up to take services, but being very careful about the 2 metre rule! … I have wipes in the car for my hands and no longer shake hands or hug my families.

However, it does seem that I may soon be out of work.   With no services required, I will not be able to earn a living.  Ros is on a medical pension, so we will have very little coming in … at the moment there is no help from our government for the self employed, especially if we are renting (which I am!).   Ros was due to move in with me at the end of the month, we have decided to delay until this whole hoo haaaa is over with.

So many people are shocked when I tell them I will have no work, everyone (including me) thought that working in the funeral business would mean a job for life … sadly not …

At least Sprout, Pixie and Jak the cat are happy …. I think Ros and I may have to turn to wine to see us through!

Here’s hoping our bloody useless and fannying about government can come up with something good for the self employed later today!… or I may be asking for food (and loo roll) parcels!

The dreaded C word

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It’s a very difficult time for all of us, not least my families who are facing funerals with only close family in attendance, probably soon to be changed to closed funerals with no service allowed.

As a full time self employed Celebrant, who rents rather than owns my own home, things may soon get very more difficult… And I am very concerned.

By rights, as a diabetic, the advice is I should batten down the hatches and have no social contact. Which means I should not be working.

This is an impossible situation for me, if I don’t work, I don’t earn… I could lose my home and car… everything in fact.

I guess if it does get that bad, I will survive… but my house is my home, my safe place, where I have once again found my peace.

Things are happening so fast that none of us really knows what lies ahead… think I may be buying a tent and a bike!

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