John O’Donohue on Addiction, with Declan Tarpey

The language of ‘addict/addiction’ is not necessarily how we would frame it from a person-centred perspective. We resonate with the content, both in terms of what Declan says and John’s wonderful poem.

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Addiction: For An Addict

‘On its way through the innocent night
the moth is ambushed by the light,
becomes glued to a window
where a candle burns
its whole self, its dreams of flight
and all desire
trapped in one glazed gaze.

Now nothing else can satisfy
but the deadly beauty of the flame.
When you lose the feel
for all other belonging
and what is truly near
becomes distant and ghostly,
you are visited and claimed
by a simplicity
sinister in its singularity.

No longer yourself,
your mind will be owned
and steered from elsewhere now.
You will sacrifice anything
to dance once more
to the haunted music
with your fatal beloved
who owns the eyes to your heart.

These words of blessings cannot reach,
even as echoes, to the shore of where you are.
Yet, may they walk without you
to soften some slight line,
through to the white cave
where your soul is captive.

May some glimmer of outside light
reach your eyes
to help you recognize how you have fallen
for a vampire.
May you crash hard and soon
onto real ground again
where this fundamentalist shell
might start to crack
for you to hear again
your own echo.

That your lost lonesome heart
might learn to cry out
for the true intimacy of love
that waits to take you home
to where you are known and seen
and where your life is treasured
beyond every frontier
of despair you have crossed.

By John O’Donohue in To Bless the Space Between Us. A Book of Blessings

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