Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Loving Tribute...

It was two years ago today that my mother died...two years ago on the last day of January...except that year, 2010, the last day of January fell on a Sunday. A beautiful snowfall on the previous day blanketed the outside world in silent, still whiteness and the sunlight shimmered and shone, reflecting off the surface of the snow, giving everything the look of newness- the whole world pristine and glowing and lovely. It was the perfect day for Mom's departure and welcome into that other realm where loved ones awaited with open arms to embrace her and carry her "home".

sunday's dying
Brilliant sunlight reflects off
pristine backyard snow as i
draw open the curtains,
light two candles, and prepare
to draw my mother into the
shared circle of worship.
Never mind that she has not
responded since yesterday
morning...never mind that her
breathing is labored and her
heartbeat is wildly irregular...
never mind that her skin
feels hot and clammy...
Today is Sunday and, for Mom,
that means worship. And so,
we begin, a community of two...
my voice strong as I sing "Softly
and Tenderly", as I read Psalm
Twenty-three and words from
John's gospel, as I recite the
Creed and pray the Lord's Prayer,
as I sing, "Peace Like a River",
all the while holding her nearly-
lifeless hand.
Then I speak of the birds- how
she loved the birds!- describing
their delight at the filled feeders
and scattered seed, reminding
her of Another's loving provision
and care...
    And then i sit...
    and watch...
    and wait...
    and pray...
    and long for peace to settle
on that face, so strangely unfamiliar
and yet so dear...
     and then- it does.
          And all is well.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Gray Day...

psalm of despair 
words evade me this morning, and
depression envelopes me as surely
as the fog outside hides the sun
from my view.
loneliness creeps up on silent feet
and God seems far away.

an imposter- that is how i feel
a poser, acting as if my heart is
filled with God, yet stumbling along
this path alone...alone...alone...

how i envy those who seem so sure,
so certain of the ways and means
of God- for i am not.
wise answers evade me and
every ounce of energy is required
just to keep me on my feet.
i hurt for so many people, yet feel
shackled by my doubts and fears,
my uncertainty.

i want to hide my face, as you
have hidden yours, O God.
i want to stay within my safe,
comfortable space and
let the world go by.

so just for today, Spirit of Comfort,
comfort me...hold me safe beneath your wings.
wipe away my tears and
let me know that weeping is
the way in which my heart is
washed clean of all the pain
and doubt and fear.

comfort me, O God, and hold
the hand of this stumbling,
despairing child until my
strength returns and
i can stand again.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Woman At the Well...Reflections at the Well of Mercy

Away from home-
Safe, familiar, comfortable home-
I am nonetheless safe
In this familiar, comfortable place
Where I have come, with heavy heart
And overburdened spirit,
To be refreshed, renewed, re-birthed.

Tears have flowed freely, frequently,
Washing me clean of the anger I so often
Fail to acknowledge, even to myself...
Wiping away the many vestiges of doubt
And second-guessing which have been marking my days.

Prayers have flowed- or perhaps
It has been one continuous prayer,
As music has surrounded and filled me,
As silence has nourished and sated my spirit,
And lots of sleep has healed my body and mind.

Tomorrow, I return home-
Back to life, back to work, back to
The innumerable people who now inhabit my days,
And I find I am filled with a precious peace,
A sense of all-is-well-ness.

The near-empty heart I brought with me
Is now filled to overflowing as once again,
O Mysterious and Marvelous God,
You have sought and found me, and loved me full.
Gratitude abounds. I am at peace. Let it be so. Amen

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reflections...and New Beginnings

Reflections...looking back on this very full and meaningful week...seeing the days with eyes at present both tired and heavy, though on other days they were filled with joy and wonder. A birthday, my seventieth, meaning I have now been on this earth for 25,567 days...seems incredibly short and amazingly long, doesn't it?

Reflections...reading poetry, my favorite Mary Oliver, and ruminating on her poignant words in "When Death Comes":

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
                     *              *            *               *
When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Reflections...writing some words of my own...

that's life
"Always begin again," said St. Benedict...
"Have beginner's mind," said the Buddha...
and here i am-
a new day, a new year, a new time of my life,

and the call comes again...
"Be willing to risk," the tender voice cries.
"Be open to transformation."
and i hear the invitation to live

without expectations...with no attachment
to the outcome...to simply show up,
to be open to whatever comes my way...
the baby steps of a new beginning.
                                                 Ain't life grand?

creative process
Wait and listen
Listen and be still
Be still and open
Open and wait

Accept what comes
Accept and give thanks
Accept and release
Accept...and wait...

Reflections...how will I fill the next 366 days? Where will life's path lead me? And isn't it wondrous to have it be such an adventure even at the dawning of my seventh decade? A new job...caring for my family...being held in thought and loved by friends and family...all of the joys and cares of daily living, all of the banes and blessings. Indeed, ain't life grand?!?