Kathleen Hirsch | A Blessed Christmas
Writing and musings by author Kathleen Hirsch.
kathleen hirsch, writer, spiritual director, boston, ma, spiritual writing
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A Blessed Christmas

A Blessed Christmas

It is only right to greet the dawn of this new day with another poem, this one that is wholly mindful of the work that we are called to do and the people be in the new year.

I send with it my prayer that you may discover a blessed and peaceful season of new life in your hearts.


A Ritual to Read to Each Other


If you don’t know the kind of person I am

and I don’t know the kind of person you are

a pattern that others made may prevail in the


and following the wrong god home we may miss

our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,

a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break

sending with shouts the horrible errors of


storming out to play through the broken dike.

And as elephants parade holding each

elephant’s tail,

but if one wanders the circus won’t find the


I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty

to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something


a remote important region in all who talk:

though we could fool each other, we should


lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the


For it is important that awake people be awake,

or a breaking line may discourage them back to


the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe —

should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.


William E. Stafford

  • Nancy Rappaport

    December 31, 2017 at 11:28 pm Reply

    I passed this poem to a friend and they missed their train stop trying to decipher it.
    I read probably something you already do of writing by hand poems that you cherish and after a meditation to start the new year I am going to write this new poem in my journal !

    • kathleen.hirsch

      January 1, 2018 at 8:08 am Reply

      Love this idea! Happy New Year. The light dawns in a clear blue sky.

  • Nancy Rappaport

    December 25, 2017 at 3:50 pm Reply

    Maybe I am a Scrooge but I find it hard sometimes to be awake during the holidays . The horrible errors of childhood is such a haunting line which is what I think causes the small betrayal of the mind . It is nice to read this poem that encourages us to be clear with our signals and the Stories we make .
    Happy holidays

    • kathleen.hirsch

      December 25, 2017 at 4:29 pm Reply

      I think Stafford would agree with you, exactly, dear friend. Yes, yes, and yes.

  • Sue O'Reilly

    December 25, 2017 at 8:05 am Reply

    Several decades ago, I supervised an employee, Howard who was profoundly deaf….and dying of AIDS. To communicate effectively with him, he taught me how to maintain eye contact so he could read my lips and my eyes. In his eyes, I could see the depths of his struggle, pain, despair, and courage. I mourned Howard’s passing and gave his eulogy. Oh, to remember this morning to give someone our full attention and to, perhaps, find their soul through their eyes.

    • kathleen.hirsch

      December 25, 2017 at 1:20 pm Reply

      Sue, what an incredibly moving memory. Thank you for this Christmas gift. Kathleen

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