If I prayed, which I don’t,
then we could say that I asked
god to open every door that I
had shut, every door I did not
know was there.
Why I asked this, well,
this will make sense to you
or it won’t, but every closed
door I was aware of
had became a point of suffering.
And with every open door,
I could feel congruence,
the world rushing in to create
more space in me.
And god said to me, though
we could not say that it was a voice,
god said, Open even the door with people jeering
on the other side, their faces twisted
in hate? Even the door to an entire
forest of sorrow? And because
this conversation was not really
happening, we could not say that
I said yes to the questions, but
we could say, perhaps, that
the yes began to root in me
and it was not so much a matter
of someone opening the doors
but that the doors more or less
dissolved. And what I had thought
could separate me from anything else
was shown to be nothing at all.
I would like to tell you that I felt grace
in the opening, but the truth
is I felt such terrible ache.
And god did not come put a hand
on my cheek and tell me
everything would be okay.
In fact, if anything, the voice
I did not hear told me
there are no promises.
But I felt it, the invitation
to keep opening doors,
to not close my eyes,
to not turn away.
And though I do not pray,
I said thank you, thank you.
“We live in a time of the dissected soul, the immediate disclosure; our thoughts, imaginings and longings exposed to the light too much, too early and too often, our best qualities squeezed too soon into a world already awash with ideas that oppress our sense of self and our sense of others. What is real is almost always to begin with, hidden, and does not want to be understood by the part of our mind that mistakenly thinks it knows what is happening. What is precious inside us does not care to be known by the mind in ways that diminish its presence.”
We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,
Transforming our broken fragments
Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.
Somewhere in us a dignity presides
That is more gracious than the smallness
That fuels us with fear and force,
A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.
So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown
And for the secret work
Through which the mind of the day
And wisdom of the soul become one.
It’s September! Usually this month energizes me. I associate it with back to school and new beginnings, despite the fact that school starts in mid-August here.
“Even as we fret about the changes our progress wreaks in the air and on the airwaves, in forests and on streets, we hardly worry about the changes it is working in ourselves, the new kind of soul that is being born out of a new kind of life. Yet this could be the most dangerous development of all, and the least examined.”
– Pico Iyer
The above quote speaks to how I feel about the times. And alas, that’s all I have to share for this moment.
I struggle to balance my activities. It seems to me that there are some that I can do every single day without fail, and some I would like to do every day, but can’t manage.
Autonomic bodily activities (breathing, digesting, excreting) and survival tasks (eating, sleeping) are guaranteed to happen. Duh, right?
But then there are things that help my soul, my physical and mental health, that I just don’t get to each day. So I prioritize.
meditate 5-30 minutes
read (book, magazines)
Other things I would like to do every day:
work out or take a walk
Things I ought to probably do every day:
clean or tidy one area of the house
interact with people
The thing about making art is that I like to get lost in the process. This takes time. There is not always a chunk of free time for it. Working out is similar. I can get some steps in, but a dedicated sustained workout is not always feasible. And yet, both of them feel nearly as necessary as food. I get depressed when I don’t do them. I have gone months without doing either. Everyone around me had to bear the result.
Regarding people, I interact with my husband and daughter, of course. I like solitude. Yet sometimes I get more of it than I need. I can tell, because I start to feel a little disembodied.