Petition

 It’s interesting how we feel the passing of time. In a week that seemed pretty long, I found no time to pray.  It wasn’t until I was sitting in a chair, alone in my daughter’s hospital room waiting for her return, that I found myself alone and feeling that utter hopelessness that makes one wish that they were a child again.  I wanted someone other than me to make the difficult decisions.  I wanted a crystal ball filled with the outcomes of every possible choice, a heads up and a clear picture of what would happen if…It sucks to be the adult.  I wanted to be the child again, forced to go on with the plans of the others, and somehow oblivious to the workings of the grown up world.  I remember thinking, “I need some help here!” And then I began to pray.  I asked for nothing specific really, just some help, guidance, and a chance to breathe.  Just a single moment of freedom from THIS.  Recently I read that in Buddhism the essence of equanimity is in part defined as “to stand in the middle of this.”  I wanted to stand in the middle of this and feel some equanimity.  And slowly it came.  Not complete, but enough.  Enough was all I needed.  I disappoint myself when I forget to pray.  It’s like forgetting to breathe, and yet I notice I forget to do just that when I am stressed. Prayer and breathe go hand in hand for me.  I am slowly learning how to stand, in the middle of this, with some assurance that all is as should be.

what is

there are no answers

or questions to be asked
there is only the ache
and the sound of wind
and traffic
there is no reason
or end
just cool skin or warm
shallow breathe
and deep
only believe 
what you can hold in your in hand
for as long as you can
then let it slip between 
your fingers
and have faith in the emptiness
it is just as real
words only have meaning 
for as long as you allow
listen to them while
the air holds their sound
but believe instead
in the knowing you were born with
it is your guide
your genius
and the only way out.

Al-Malik

from the Gospel of Thomas


“If you give birth to what is within you
the voices you redeem will redeem you
If you fail to find and give birth to them,
they become part of what is destroying you.”

In Aramaic, the third line of the Lord’s Prayer affirms “teete malkutakh,” usually translated as “thy kingdom come.”  A different, and perhaps more beautiful, translation would be “Let your vision power, the “I Can” of the cosmos, really come!” 
There was a time when I was able to listen to God. I believe we are all born with this sense. Somehow, over many years, I lost my gift.  Perhaps the truth is,  I slowly gave it away piece by piece. In moments big and small, I handed over my compass to those around me.  I allowed others power over my direction.  Often I did this as a measure of my love for them, but just as often as a reaction to my own fear.  I began to depend on the voices of others, I let them fill my head, until I could  hear nothing else.  I let them persuade me, then lure me, away from the calm knowing place I had come from.  I had not only lost my way, I lost the ability to even know that I had. 
I am still lost, I have no map or even a destination.  My trust is in the voice I have begun to hear again.  Sometimes a whisper, sometimes a scream, it is clear and like no other.  This time, I will not ignore it.  When I was young, I was full of trust and belief in the God in me and all around.    I cradle that memory like a beloved child and remember that I too am a beloved child.

Wednesday

trouble finds a home in my body

in restless nights
and dark dreams
in the ache of my side 
that just will not go away
trouble, like a wrong turn
unnoticed for too long
the body doesn’t lie
just like a dog
This past week at work I was talking with one of my clients who is a psychologist.  He asked me if the I knew someone better by listening to them(his job) or by observing their body(more my job).  My first reply was that I believed you never really could know anyone at all.  People often tell you what they either want to believe about themselves or what they want you to believe about them.  And who we are is ever changing.  It’s hard to know ourselves, much less someone else.
The body though often betrays emotion.  The locked jaw and shallow breath when someone says, “I’m fine.”  The red face of embarrassment. And illness is often a manifestation of psychological dis-ease.  The body doesn’t lie.  
My body this week is a bit of a wreck.  It took physical discomfort for me to pay attention to the fact that I’m steering my life in the wrong direction.  I wish I had more awareness, but at least I have the cues my physical self can’t help but share.
Today, I’ll let some things go, and take care of myself.

Tuesday

It’s raining again, a lot.  I bundled up in my all my rain gear and took Luka for her walk this morning..no running, I just wanted to walk.  There were no other dogs at either of the parks, no one else braving the down pour, but it was nice all the same.  I haven’t been feeling the loneliness that has been my constant companion these past few months.  Perhaps a small piece of that lies in the fact that I have family visiting, but I think there is more to it.  This last month has brought me face to face with my unhealthy patterns. I’ve countered that with a new practice of being completely honest with myself.  And truth with oneself creates less heartache.  People often talk about personal growth in spiritual practice.  I am not looking “to grow” or change, I only want to discover and be who I am.

the good life

This morning I went for a nice, long run in the rain with my dog.  I’ve been running enough lately that I’ve gotten to the place where my running is effortless and I feel as if I could go forever.  Today was especially sweet because spring is incredible this year.  The dogwoods are at their peak right now, and there are so many flowers, it’s a banquet for the eyes and nose.  As Luka and I made our way home, we ran down a small path alongside the golf course.  It began to rain heavily but the air was so warm (and I was even warmer), and I remember thinking very clearly, “life is good.”  My life is good; sometimes I let myself forget that.  Tonight my sister and daughter will be arriving in town, one coming from the west, the other from the east.  Tomorrow, my niece will come, from the north.  We don’t get to spend a lot of time together, but somehow the stars aligned just so, and we have a week together.  Life is good.