Monday, 18 April 2016

Hebe's chant on perception

From time to time I like to re-post this, just because I think it's brilliant.

It's by our Hebe who also painted this picture for the original cover of The Breath of Peace. I think the picture's brilliant, too.

Anyway - here's the chant:

Seeing yourself – a chant on perception

When you see your face in the mirror,
Don’t be dissatisfied with what you see.
For your face is only one part of you.

There are parts of you that you cannot see.
There are parts of you that you will never know;
You cannot know how beautiful you are to others.

There is also a part of you
That others can never know;
The part of you that is only for you to see,
And it is beautiful in its mystery.

I believe there is a God,
And he knows all of you and me.
He knows the things that I cannot know – 
The parts that only you can see.

But he also knows what I know,
And the parts you can never see,
God can see the whole of us – 
Even that which is a mystery.

When you look at your face and your body,
Don’t be dissatisfied with what you see; 
For beauty is not only in that which is visible,
But also in parts that are not seen.

And do not think that any part of you is ugly,
Even the inside part of you:
For part of the beauty that is you
Is when every part of you is together.

A body is far more beautiful alive than when it is dead;
But, when all is said and done,
We cannot know how beautiful we are
’Til we see what God sees.

And do not be afraid when you are changing –
Your face or the inside of you; 
For that’s what it is to be alive.

If you ever feel misunderstood,
Ugly, or even invisible,
Know that, because I have seen you and known a part of you,
There is a part of you that is a part of me.

Can you see that we are a part of each other, then?
So what you see in the mirror is not all of you:
Don’t be trapped by feelings of inadequacy;
Let it be a mystery, and let it set you free.

So do not be unhappy with your body – 
Love it, for it is part of your wholeness;
And if you cannot do that,
Love it because it is part of mine.

(Words of chant © Hebe Wilcock 2006)


Anonymous said...

That is wise and beautiful. :)

- Philippa

Pen Wilcock said...

Yes - I think so, too xx

nadine said...

That is wonderful, I struggle against feelings of inadequacy all the time. This poem is really uplifting.

Pen Wilcock said...

Yes, I love it. She wrote it to be sung and composed a chant tune to it. Some time I must make a video, see if I can persuade her to sing the one she wrote. But when I sing it, I just fit it to a regular monastic chant. x

MaryR said...

Gosh, that could have been written just for me - I'm continually *trapped by feelings of inadequacy*, and allow them to stop me in my tracks. That must speak to hundreds of people, Pen, especially women, and is absolutely wonderful. What a gift!

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

Julie B. said...

Has Hebe thought of writing a book of poetry and/or wisdom essays? What a deep fountain of beautiful creativity your girls are, dear Ember. xoxoxo

Pen Wilcock said...

Yes, they all write well. Hebe has completed one novel and is working on a couple more. She is always considered, even cautious, in finding her way through life, and is only slowly finding her way to having them published, but I surely hope that happens because they are excellent. xx