Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In the Currach of Thought

Currach. Isn't that a lovely word?  It's Scotch and Irish for a type of boat, canvas with a wooden frame. It's new to me, and I love almost nothing more than a new word, especially one that rolls so gently. This love of words sustains and elevates my days, nourishing my heart and soul like nothing else can. They transport my thought, like the currach, moving towards the hearts of others who are willing to meet mine and, in that meeting, find the "invisible cloak" of home.

"Beannacht / Blessing"

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

~ John O'Donohue, from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

Painting by my beloved Winslow Homer


  1. What a magnificent prayer/blessing. I'm thinking that'll be printed out & put somewhere handy.

    1. It's a really nice poem/prayer isn't it? I just wanted to share it....

  2. May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
    may the clarity of light be yours

    I especially like those lines. That's a blessing to which I can relate.

  3. I really like the poem, but unfortunately now I'm wrapped up in thinking about a "Currach of thought". It will take awhile.

    1. I like the image I now have of you in the mountains of Montana also nurturing a currach of thought....

  4. Thanks for the new celtic word. I am of BlackScots Irish decent and always want to learn about my heritage ... currach. This is my favorite line, 'may the protection of the ancestors be yours.' Lovely poem, I too must print and frame it ... have just the place in my office.


    1. Annie, I love that line. I feel it on every level.

      The currach at one time was made of animal skins, and although I'm a protector of animals, there's something about that almost primordial image that I like.

      so glad you commented.

  5. I have always thought of currachs as being a little precarious and dangerous - more of a four letter word than an eight letter one.

    1. Too much thought can, as the writer said, fray the canvas, and become treacherous indeed.

  6. What a fine word, and a fine poem. It's all new to me, and I enjoyed them both very much, the easy gentleness of the poem and making friends with a new word.

  7. My own words cannot convey the warmth and comfort I feel from this poem, painting, and your post of it, Teresa. I will just say amen!

    1. Morning, sister (in the best sense of that word), have a wonderful day!