I have been thinking about Pat Schneider, who sadly passed away on August 10th, 2020. Pat was a member of our IAJW Journal Council and an incredible writer who’s work I have long admired. Pat was a well-loved poet and author of ten books including five volumes of poems, How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice and Writing Alone & With Others, both from Oxford University Press, and Wake Up Laughing: A Spiritual Autobiography.

Pat left so much good writing in the world, true treasures for the future to find including the following




Blessing for a Writer
Pat Schneider

May you hear in your own stories
the moan of wind around the corners
of half-forgotten houses
and the silence in rooms you remember.

May you hear in your own poems
the rhythms of the cosmos,
the sun, the moon and the stars
rising out of the sea and returning to it.

May you, too, pull darkness out of light
and light out of darkness.
May you hear in your own voice
the laughter of water falling over stones.

May you hear in your own writing
the strangeness, the surprise of mystery,
the presence of ancestors, spirits,
voices buried in the cells of your body.

May you have the courage to honour
your own first language, the music of those
whose lives inhabit your own.
May you tell the truth and do no harm.

May you dare in your own words to touch
the broken heart of the world.
May your passion for peace and justice be wise:
remember – No one can argue with story.

May you study your craft as you would study
a new friend or a long time, much loved lover.
And all the while, lost though you may be in the forest,
drop your own words on the path like pebbles

and write your way home.

Included in How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice
by Pat Schneider (Oxford University Press, 2013)