Poet’s note: My last entry on Visitant was “How to Swear,” a prose poem that ended with the hint of moving in another direction to blessing. On this Thanksgiving, “How to Bless.”
How to Bless
In Old English etymology, the word blessing began with sprinkling blood on a pagan altar—a hint of messy demands. The heart requires lessons to learn the way of it. Quiet thankfulness floats by faster than a cloud of malaise. Ecstasy is not a call to action. Blessing is an act of volition.
Reliability and consistency are clues to how to invoke blessing. A second-hand station wagon with a dented door that drives fine. The seatbelts work. The sonnet that holds up to five readings. Friends who show up.
Watch for disguised blessings. A robust woman with a veil over scars. The lemon smell of the gold rose. An extended wait for the diagnosis that nothing is wrong. Death offering escape.
Yesterday, browned-out moss on the labyrinth path greened up after a shower—not a rain that ended drought—only drizzle that changed the color of things. That blood on the pagan altar.