Tag: praying

poem: how many times

How many times
have i prayed,
a monster of need,
tiny hands grasping,
flabby arms flapping,
begging,
disconsolate,
stewing in hopelessness.

Such desperation
is exhausting,
and it did me no good.

My worst nightmares
have begun to come true
and i cannot rise
to the occasion
higher
than i already stand.

The worst
has begun
coming to pass,
but such losses
dance
with contentment.

The dog’s last breaths
taught me
about gratitude,
about finding
loving kindness
even in agony.

With a teacher like that,
what could i do?

Suddenly,
all my praying stopped.

For if i can find
peace,
calm,
stillness
and joy
coexisting
with this pain,
grief
and failure,
then who am i
to pretend
i know
what i need?

7 may 2016

twenty minutes

raining i just used up all the hot water in the tank doing the dishes and it will take twenty minutes to get some warmth back.  The limitations of my hot-water heater has given me a chance to blog.

Part of the reason that the dishes had stacked up for so long was that my injured hand could not hold the dishes well or without significant pain.  The other reason is that when confronted by the desire to make art and the need to do dishes, the former almost always wins.  At any rate, while i cleaned plate after plate, rejoicing over my left hand’s healing, i started mulling over the other things i have not been doing as i should: blogging, posting on social media, just generally reaching out even to my customers.

Part of it has been a conscious choice as to what kind of art i should make. i am aware that what is welling up inside me contains sorrow and fear.  The decision is whether or not to give those emotions a stronger voice.

Years and years ago, a friend typed in a lot of poetry for me when i was having health issues that made the job impossible.  Those poems contained vast despair, interspersed with moments of bliss.  Watching how she reacted to that collection silenced my pen for a bit, even though she kept thanking me for the rare poems of joy.  Then, a couple of years ago, someone blue hairwas looking at thespirit_goddess paintings to the left and shook his head, saying no one wants to see pain.  By that time, my art had already shifted toward things like the holy spirit to the right.  Despite whatever internal grief i suffered, my art channeled happiness.  So i smiled at my friend’s advice,  because, somehow, i had already taken it.

That is, until this winter.  i cannot count the times i stopped my hands from drawing or painting or sculpting because i sorrowknew the things rumbling about in my mind would produce art like that to the left which flooded out of me six years ago.   Art can be a purging – an exorcism of grief and sorrow.  This helped heal my soul all those years ago.

If i want to be honest about my experience of life, there will always be a bit of art that will evokes the darkness.  Sometimes, even when i give myself leave to create something just for the sake of my sanity, the joy still peaks out.  A drawing of howling despair turns into song. There will also always be joy – peeking through even during the hardest times.

This is not one of the hardest time.  i know that, deep in my soul.  i can go back to poems written years ago and realize how much sunlight has conquered the sorrow.  An indefinable, unconquerable strength has kept me going this winter and for that spark of grace i am wildly grateful.  May it continue to keep me slogging through.

However, i have made a choice, for myself alone.  i don’t think i am going to quiet the art that would come forth, even when i know it might be soaked in blues.  The cost of keeping it bottled up is too high – for it stifles what other art that would come.

 

poem: you wanted me alone

The first draft of this was written over a year ago, but how it still applies:

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He said You wanted me alone.
Childless.
Miserable.

My love for him
flowed deeper than the ocean,
despite the pain of ending,
as he swore that it was impossible
for anyone to love me –
particularly You,
my Lord, my God.

Every single day,
those words float through my mind.
i cross the foot of the stairs
at the peak of which those statements
were first uttered,
and they float back down to me,
echoing ghosts of heartbreak.

No anger accompanies them,
no outrage,
just a quiet wretchedness.
It is hard to challenge
those damnations
while i have been trapped
in this long loneliness.

Every time i have allowed
my heart to rise up in the hope
that love might find me again,
the object of my desire has asked
for my bank account numbers
or hurt me.

Jesus, You have given me words,
You have given me art,
but in the depths of night
when i am alone,
i am aware that the products
of my hands
cannot hug me back.

When he said those things, Christ,
he believed them.
His attitude became proof
that i was utterly unloved.

How much of my begging,
Lord,
has been because of this grief?
Your love had gotten me through
so much trouble and trial
from the earliest days of childhood.

Losing that undid me.

In the years since,
how many times have i come
on bended knee,
begging for you to love me again?

When will this doubt
that i never harbored before
he said those things
ebb away?

When will they stop following me
through my days?

poem: Christ, i want to hide

Christ, i want to hide
from all my troubles;
life demands too much,
more than i can give.

Inside this warm womb
where pain is muffled
and words tumble out,
i hide in safety.

Only i’m dreaming
that you would force me
to confront this mess,
to rejoin the fray –

like a fisherman
throwing a small fish
squirming, unwilling
back into the sea.

10 august 2014

poem: please

Please.
The word flows like honey
thick with need,
taking on the golden hues
of love and hope.
Please.
It comes form my mouth
with alarming frequency
testifying to my desperation,
to this insecure vulnerability.
Please.
a thousand prayers and pleas,
all giving voice
to my most basic fear:
that i, alone, am not enough.
Please.
i lose track of my wants,
desperation seem so vast and huge.
My heart trembles and skips
and all i can do is reach out.
Please.
Help me.
Please.

rosary: optimism

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My Lord, my God, you gave me a creative soul. i tell stories as i breathe.

Invitatory
The unpublicized side effect of such creativity is an incomparable ability to imagine the future, good and bad. Which comes up – utopian or dystopian – depends upon my mood.

Cruciform
Christ, all futures are a dream. Therefore, i only have this moment to hold in my hands. Tomorrow’s stress is as much a phantom as yesterday’s pain.

Week
Please, Spirit, fill me now, as i pray.

Invitatory
Hope and optimism flow best without the barriers of projection and anxiety. Christ, i am doing all i can within this moment. Please help me see that is enough.

+
All this i pray in your Name, Jesus Christ, my Lord. AMEN

rosary: existential prayers

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Christ, i am having an existential dilemma. i do not know what i should pray for anymore. Part of the problem is that i cannot keep myself from listening to others. People tell me that if i want something badly enough, pray for it with absolute conviction, visualize it hard enough, demand it from the universe without giving it the option to let me down, work for it with enough focus and zeal, and then i will get it. If i don’t get it, obviously i fell down on one of those things. Another group tells me things only happen because it is your will, Christ, and either i have such blessings or i don’t. One set of advisors tell me that any sorrow or grief or insecurity automatically condemns me and makes all the moments of peace and joy and communion irrelevant, for fleeting enlightenment is worth nothing. The other side tells me that emotions are part of what make life rich, and sometimes surviving the crisis to find peace again is victory in itself – indeed, evidence of your hand helping me through the world.

Invitatory
Christ, i cannot quite define what i believe. i know there have been moments when you touched my heart and saved me. i know that i have prayed and begged to receive a gentle no as an answer. Moreover, i know i have been called and vacillated – in effect saying no to you. All the yes’s in the world do not make up for the guilt of that failure.

Cruciform
Right now, i reach down in my soul and find my most basic prayer:

Weeks
Jesus: help me to be peaceful and awake, always listening for your advice, even when caught in deepest turmoil and need.

Invitatory
My savior, i reach out to you – i have my plans and hopes and dreams, and i will work obsessively to make them real, but i will accept whatever comes.

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i pray for equanimity, strength, confidence and joy no matter what comes to me, Christ, my Lord, for with your love and forgiveness all earthly things are irrelevant. All this i pray in your name, AMEN.

poem: a prayer about trust

Lord,
talk to me about trust,
explain how it helps
to cast aside all impulses
of self-protection and fear,
and leap into the arms of certainty.

The thought of it
unsettles me –
for i want to say i trust
but always,
a hesitation
lies within me.

Saying yes
to whatever comes
is an act
of absolute confidence,
not that everything
will be sunlight and glory,
but that whatever pain and suffering
come to this soul
will be accompanied by your grace.

To believe without question
that love flows
around all my weakness and sin,
making it through any barriers
like water pouring through a sieve,
now that would be glorious.

4 august 2014

poem: prayers for strength

Please God,
please Christ,

i really ought to start a book
just for prayers ,
for this endless beseeching
and search for communion.

Mary,
i beg you again,
as i have so many times,
for your intercession,
for your guidance.

Mary comes to me
in dreams,
an avenging Madonna,
the Amazon Virgin.
In these sessions
she has rejected all my excuses
and has been showing me
how to live with fierce love.

i can feel myself slipping,
my heart faltering,
the loneliness encroaching
on my solitude again.

Why do i doubt
my place within Creation
when i am rejected
by humans?
As though Divine Love
comes only after earthly?

Please, Lord, the equanimity
that has been such a miracle
threatens to fade away –
so i pray
with my heart torn open –
for your love and hope.

26 may 2013