off to ireland
In a few days, I return to Ireland for my fourth stay in as many years. This year, as I did in 2013, I will be an artist in residence at Ballinglen Arts Foundation
in County Mayo. Each time I return, it feels more and more like a place in which my soul is at home.
This is a quick post, as I have so much to do before I leave. But I'd like to share this blessing by the Irish writer and philosopher John O'Donohue, called For the Traveler.
In it, O'Donohue
speaks about the kind of travel that opens a channel between inner as outward
experience, that involves intention,
intuition and attention, and it brings to mind so many of my experiences in Ireland so far.
I'll be posting more soon from the other side of the big pond!
For the Traveler
Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.