Wedding Reception, Metairie Country Club, Metairie LA

Wedding Reception, Metairie Country Club, Metairie LA

A Blessing for Wedding

BY JANE HIRSHFIELD

 

Today when persimmons ripen

Today when fox-kits come out of their den into snow

Today when the spotted egg releases its wren song

Today when the maple sets down its red leaves

Today when windows keep their promise to open

Today when fire keeps its promise to warm

Today when someone you love has died

or someone you never met has died

Today when someone you love has been born

or someone you will not meet has been born

Today when rain leaps to the waiting of roots in their dryness

Today when starlight bends to the roofs of the hungry and tired

Today when someone sits long inside his last sorrow

Today when someone steps into the heat of her first embrace

Today, let this light bless you

With these friends let it bless you

With snow-scent and lavender bless you

Let the vow of this day keep itself wildly and wholly

Spoken and silent, surprise you inside your ears

Sleeping and waking, unfold itself inside your eyes

Let its fierceness and tenderness hold you

Let its vastness be undisguised in all your days

 

I painted this live at a wedding reception but didn’t think I would use it as one of my paintings this month. In fact, I was a little bit smug about it. My self talk was all: damn, girl, you don’t even need to use your live paintings in your 30 in 30! You’re that good. (That’s really how I talk to myself on my rare bouts of optimism.)

Well, I’m not. I’ve got about three failed paintings I’m trying to save but just can’t quite seem to. I discovered the poem above a few weeks ago and it really moved me. I’m thinking of attaching it to the back of all the paintings I do for weddings.

It’s silly, but I feel guilty for using this painting (why!? This is my own challenge. There are no rules!) as one of my 30, I keep thinking about Mary Oliver’s poem from a few days ago. It’s helping. (You don’t have to be good…my place in the family of things…you get the gist).

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