I wrote this small piece after reading an amazing book of essays called Writing in the Dark by David Grossman, in which he laments the enslaving despair - personal or national - of those who live, over a long period of time, in an area of violence and conflict such as ours. He then makes a powerful statement about the liberating effect of writing, which, even if it cannot bring about change, can release this shackling burden both on the writer and on the reader.

To summarize my feeling after reading this book I wrote a small 'psalm'. I have used the rhythm from The Book of Psalms and Blessed is the Match by Hannah Senesh; I have taken ideas and words as I understand them from the content of Grossman’s book of essays, added something from other thinkers and writers and also of my own. I have used the word "blessed" rather than “fortunate” as it carries something deeper, though I do not use it in a religious context.

Blessed be the free of spirit who despite suffering and violence have been able to liberate themselves and perhaps those around them from despair, apathy, cynicism and hatred.

Blessed be those with a gift to create, if in words or paint or music or any other form of creativity, and thereby free their own souls and those of all who read, see, hear and feel their work.

Blessed be those who rejoice in the beauty of life – be it of nature or man-made and thereby lift themselves and others up and out.

Blessed be those who through their day-to-day life, – through work or play or activities of all kinds; be it in the home; be it alone, with or for others; be it demanding of body or mind - or not. Would that it be done with love, passion, satisfaction or fulfillment. But even if not, and it is done because it must be done,they are thus able to contribute to life's flow and to find freedom.

Blessed be those who free their souls through love of those dear to them and of all living things; through caring for and understanding of even those who could be conceived as threatening - as enemy. They too would be free.


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Marion miller
I loved the psalm. I pray that honor praise thanksgiving be given to All Mighty God the creator of all good

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Richelle Shem Tov

Richelle Shem-Tov was born and grew up in Polokwane (Pietersburg), South Africa. She qualified as a Physiotherapist at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. In 1962 sh...

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