50: Memorization, The Brain Food of Champions


(The Daily Dahlia)

A Morning Offering

I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no one sees.

All that is eternal in me
Welcome the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.

I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Wave of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.

May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.

~ John O’Donohue ~


In her late 90s,
Aunt Lucile still recites the ditties and poems
she learned in primary school.
Though she’d kill me if I told you her age,
I think my mother would be okay with me telling you
that she can still recall the words to
a little something she memorized
in elementary school: Thanatopsis.
It’s not exactly light fare even for an adult,
and she admits she didn’t have any idea
what it was about when she chose it.
It was the level of difficulty that made her select it.

Once upon a lifetime,
memorization was a part of the curriculum.
I think it should be brought back.

Some people do crossword puzzles to exercise their brain.
Me? I memorize.
And this beautiful Morning Offering
is what I’m currently weaving into my soul.


IOOL4 16

In Our Own Language 4:16

And here’s today’s installment of the Nancy and Jeanne collaboration.
Nancy (my developmentally disabled sister-in-law) draws.
I (the woman who flat-out loves her) stitch her drawings.


Thank you for joining me on my story quest.
To see more of the Daily Dahlias, join me on Facebook or Instagram.
And if you want to keep up with these 100 Stories in 100 Days
or my stitchings,
just mash the black “right this way” button in the orange bar
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  1. moon

    John O’Donahue’s words are a beautiful thing to hold in your mind…

    • whollyjeanne

      Like a bolt full of gossamer threads . . . And tis my belief that when we memorize, the words become a part of our life. x

      • moon

        I have been making Little Moon practice her handwriting by copying poems of his, I wonder if that will have the same effect?

        • whollyjeanne

          Yes! That’s a great thing to do! It goes into muscle memory. I commit to memory by writing/copying. x

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