Jo is a friend I admire greatly. She has a degree in medicine, long experience in a psychiatric practice, a history of purposeful world travel exploring mental health issues around the globe. In our first personal interaction, she chewed me out for unnecessarily contradicting her in public.
We've had a warm connection ever since.
Recently, after I'd done a couple of small favors for her, she gave me a bar of soap. Ordinary soap, not colored or scented or in the shape of a seahorse, not made of yucca sap or yew bark.
But it was special. It had been blessed by a shaman of Jo's Navajo tribe.
Now, I really believe in blessings. I believe in formal, even ritual blessings, and informal, spur-of-the-moment blessings, and unspoken blessings , and blessings conferred without language and even without cognition. (I've been blessed by an elephant and at least one bristlecone pine tree.) But I'm uniquely entranced by this bar of blessed soap, and am giving the matter a good bit of thought. I have a number of questions, but not one answer yet. And maybe answers are irrelevant. I'll keep you posted, one way or the other.