My fiftieth year had come and gone,
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop,
An open book and empty cup
On the marble table-top.
While on the shop and street I gazed
My body of a sudden blazed;
And twenty minutes more or less
It seemed, so great my happiness,
That I was blessed and could bless.
William Butler Yeats, Vacillation
Here are some things I know about blessing.
Nobody ever got enough of it. You didn’t. I didn’t. Nobody.
Blessing from peers isn’t much good. Generally, you need it from people you look up to.
I’ve noticed, from a distance, that very little blessing seems to come with fame.
One should ask for blessing from mentors, but mentors must be carefully chosen. You want a mentor who can see you.
To be seen by an elder, or a parent, is a blessing. You also bless your kids by playing with them.
Kings bless. That’s their proper function. Lincoln could bless. But a king possessed by his own shadow cannot bless, and wants instead to be adored.
The opposite of blessing is shame. You can combat shame by naming it when you see it, by standing up for yourself and others.
Bless often. It comes back to you.
There’s blessing in art, in ritual, in poetry, in the body. There’s blessing in quiet.
There’s blessing in being with groups of men, and women, and men and women, when the heart is open.
Someone in the other world may want to bless and look after you. I say go for it. Memorize a few lines of Yeats or Chaucer or Shakespeare and count your blessings.
I go around trying to bless Nick all the time, and occasionally he registers it. It’s a great feeling.