To my brother on his 60th birthday

September 18, 1960

September 18, 1960

When I was a kid, I lived in a crazy-ass family where up was down and down was up and I never knew what was coming. My one true thing was my big brother, Jody. I looked up to him, loved him, counted on him, and wanted more than anything for him to like me. When I was riding shotgun with Jody in the driver’s seat, I was bullet proof.

Jody's 3rd birthday, 1960

Jody’s 3rd birthday, 1960

One of the enduring sadnesses of my life is that I don’t have a relationship with my only brother, Jody, and his family. Their choice, not mine. I wish on all 60 candles of his birthday cake that things were different.

I borrow words from John O’Donohue to bless my brother on his 60th birthday:

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.



3 Responses to “To my brother on his 60th birthday”

  1. theresa

    Oh the sadness of families. Your wishes for your brother are generous and I hope they will find their way into his heart.


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