Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Gradually, you will return to yourself


                                             For One Who Is Exhausted by John O'Donohue

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,

Time takes on the strain until it breaks;

Then all the unattended stress falls in

On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.

The light in the mind becomes dim.

Things you could take in your stride before

Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.

Gravity begins falling inside you,

Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.

And you are marooned on unsure ground.

Something within you has closed down;

And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.

The desire that drove you has relinquished.

There is nothing else to do now but rest

And patiently learn to receive the self

You have forsaken in the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken

And sadness take over like listless weather.

The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;

Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up

To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain

When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,

Taking time to open the well of color

That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone

Until its calmness can claim you.

Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.

Learn to linger around someone of ease

Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,

Having learned a new respect for your heart

And the joy that dwells far within slow time.


Many thanks to Ms. K from the comments.  She left a portion of this poem in the comments a few days ago.  It was saying in a beautiful way what I was feeling.  I looked up John O'Donohue and have since posted his poem about dying and now this one.  Our Swiss Miss, Susan, just received a book by O'Donohue in the mail!  So funny when that happens....You hear about someone you just learned about from another person, almost instantly.  

I love the end....

Gradually you will return to yourself.

Encourage one another,

Donna Elsie


  1. ❤️ I am enjoying this book, this author, so much.

  2. What a heartbreakingly expressive poem. "Be excessively gentle with yourself." I will borrow that phrase for some sad and beaten-down people I know and love.

  3. I appreciated being able to read this poem this morning. It brightens my day to know it was meaningful to you. So often in the past years I have read your blog and found a gem or a smile or some beauty that helped me. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I appreciate your sharing this. Hugs.


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