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Books - Lines I Love by Mary Kennedy

Lines I Love by Mary KennedyI dreamt - marvellous error!

that I had a beehive

here inside my heart,

And golden bees

were making white combs

and sweet honey

from my old failures."

Last night as I was sleeping,

This is Mary Kennedy's second book, following on the success of her biography Paper Tigers, one reviewer referred to Mary's first book as "a wonderful insight to this warm, loving woman from being a school teacher to becoming one of Ireland's most loved TV presenters. Read Paper Tigers and get to know something else about Mary".

In Lines I Love we get to know even more about Mary. Mary like her late Mother has been collecting quotes and poems all her life, it is completely understandable that she feels (as she explains in her book) strange as she reads through the copybook of her late Mother. This really resonates with me as I do the same, collecting inspirational words and sentiments that I find in books and papers, as I am sure many of you reading this do also.

These words are taken from Nelson Mandela's inaugural speech, they are beautiful words of wisdom and inspiration.

Mary Kennedy quotes Nelson Mandela in lines I loveOur deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people around you won't feel insecure. We are all meant to shine as children do. We are born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presense automatically releases others.

In Lines I Love, Mary Kennedy explains, This poem, Last Night As I was Sleeping, was written in 1903 by the Spanish poet Antonio Machado and was translated into english by Robert Bly. I came across it a few years ago in a collection called Ten Poems to Change Your Life. I was seeing a counsellor at the time and it was she who recommended the book. Now we all know no one sees a counseellor when they are feeling on top of the world. Rather one seeks help when one is at a loss, or crossroads or low ebb.

bees inside my heart making honey from my failuresShe continues - I got a lot of consolation from reading the poems in that book but Antonio Machado's stood out. I love the image of the bees making sweet honey out of my failures. What a positive and up lifting thought that good can come from bad. Nice things can follow on difficult times. We need to remember that and to believe it in order to overcome the obstacles in our path and move forward. Those lines have become my mantra since I discovered them. I say them to myself when I feel a bit down, insecure or unsure. They remind me that we need to forgive ourselves. We are our own harshest critics.

"Admit your mistakes, then move on" - Thomas Merton

Sometimes that's easier said than done. The timing has to be right. I have to feel ready to move onwards and upwards. my confidence has to go up a notch or two. Certainly those lines about the bees inside my heart making honey from my failures helps in that regard.

There is infinite power to words, we recommend stories and poetry that have moved us, so our friends and loved ones may be moved by these words too. This is one of the most profound gifts that one person can visit upon another. My 89 year old father was ill last year, I am an only son and I thought I had lost him, my wife and children had given me a CD as a gift for Christmas. "Call Me Irresponsible" by Michael Buble, it was a two disc set. On disc two there was a song called "Home". Everytime I listened to it on my way to or from work, I would cry, my Dad was in hospital and I wanted him "Home". The song is actually about a guy missing his love back home, but, and here in lies the beauty of words, words can have any meaning you want them too. Once they strike a cord in your heart then the sentiments and words belong to you. Mary Kennedy's book touched my heart, I am sure it will touch your heart too.

 

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