I first came across the hundred blessings in a wonderful novel by Alison McGhee, What I Leave Behind. She writes, “The hundred blessings display is at the back of the blessings store. Each numbered with a Chinese number…Each with a specific purpose. Blessing for the dead. Blessing for the afraid. Blessing for the lost.”
This struck me so, that I had to put the book down and walk away, just to savor the pleasure of coming back. It stays with me still, and I keep playing with it. Try it yourself. Come up with some hundred blessings of your own. See where they take you.
Another of the hundred blessings–
A forest of solitude, with songbirds, rabbits.
A forest of solitude, with a path running through.
A forest of solitude at the edge of a meadow
where the circus has pitched its tents.
In this, the different circus, the magic circus,
tame lions and tigers roar for the pleasure of
making enormous sounds. The elephants
are happy to be here. The dogs yearn to do tricks.
The clowns rejoice in their huge shoes and tiny cars
and everyone crowds together and feasts on
popcorn and candy apples and spun sugar cotton and if the crowds get too large
or the music too loud,
you are blessed, to be here at the edge of the forest
Remember, you may travel back and forth,
circus to meadow to forest
And remember the forest travels deep within you
Deep within each of us,
beneath the collarbone.
All you need is to learn your own way in.
Learning your way in?
That’s another of the hundred blessings.