Friday, December 03, 2010

Bless the lone tunnellers

West Coast stones

Words by Michael Leunig

God bless the lone tunnellers; those rare individuals whose joy and passion it is to dig mysterious tunnels beneath the surface of the earth; who share the soulful purpose of moles and worms; who labour gleefully beneath our feet while we bask in the sun or gaze at the stars; whose pockets and cuffs are full of soil; who dig faithfully in darkness, turning left and right, not knowing why or where, but absorbed and fulfilled nevertheless. Under houses; under roads and statues; beneath and amongst the roots of trees; on elbows and knees; carefully, steadily pawing at their beloved earth; sniffing and savouring the rich odour of the dirt; dreaming and delighting in the blackness; onwards and onwards, not knowing day or night; unsung, unadorned, unassuming, unrestrained. Grimy fingernailed angels of the underworld: we praise them and give  thanks for their constant, unseen presence and the vast labyrinth they have created beneath our existence. We praise them and give thanks. AMEN. 


Posted in mindfulness of the Pike River Coal Miners and our grieving West Coast community. 


  1. Michael Leunig's words offer a beautiful tribute, Claire. Thank you.

  2. Hi Elisabeth
    I'd like to meet Michael Leunig one day. He finds ways to speak into just about every situation, don't you find? I appreciate the plainness of his language, the heart in it and the complete lack of pretension. Pam (from Cadence) was telling me last night that he spoke at the recent National Psychotherapy conference in Auckland. She wished she'd been there to hear him, too.
    Thanks for coming by, Elisabeth.

  3. He really does find such a direct, affectionate view. One thinks of all that we desire, require, than can only be obtained by sending men tunnelling. Yes, a moving tribute.

  4. Marylinn, 'affectionate' is just the right word, yes. Leunig's work is affectionate. It's this gentle, inclusive quality that makes him beloved of so many. Love to you, Claire x