• Current Reading List

    Peaceful Action, Open Heart - Thich Nhat Hanh*** Eat, Pray, Love*** Peaceful Living - Mary Mackenzie(daily reader)*** The Vein of Gold - Julia Cameron (this is a read a chapter a week type book)*** Dubliners - James Joyce*** Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring - Jean Watson*** The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Volume I***
  • Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.

Snowy Weather and a Poem

So once again I am in Albuquerque. Yesterday morning in the wee hours at work, I discovered that a huge snow storm was slated to hit Raton that day. 100% chance of snow all day. Hmm, I had never seen that before. My coworker warned me of the danger of getting “stuck” in Raton, so I decided to head out, bleary eyed for Albuquerque, and will travel the rest of the way to Las Cruces today.

I discovered once again, that I do not like driving in the snow – especially when have been awake for 18 hours and coming off a long stretch of nights. Anyway, after an hour of driving through a white landscape in which my only clue to my presence in the correct lane was the tire treads of the cars gone before, the snow stopped and the brilliant amazing sun light the rest of my way here.

It is quite liberating to do something – like driving in a snowstorm – when it has been something that you have feared, with a fear quite irrational and gripping. It is true the saying that the only way out of fear is through it – through to the brillant sunshine on the other side.

A few posts back, I talked about my spiritual growth, and my faith and how I feel guided and certain that I am being cared for. It is a miraculous thing to have that certainty of faith. Now it is not saying that I believe I live in a perfect bubble where everything will go just the way I want it to all the time and I will never feel hurt or sad or angry, but instead it is a feeling of assurance that I know that whatever life brings me I will be okay, that I will have the tools and the guidance to get through it and to learn what I need in order to continue the development of myself – the woman I want to be and the woman whom my higher power intends for me to be. I have been thinking about a comment that was made here about my faith where I was given the “facts” that there is no higher power (HP) etc, and that it was all up to me. I empathize with that statement, because I have felt it before, and for me it was a very spiritually desolate and lonely place. And sometimes, I still go there – to that place of desolation and self-reliance with the ‘pick myself up by my bootstraps’ mentality- but today I know I don’t have to stay there. I used to think that God turned his back on me – but now I know that it was I that turned and closed my heart and that she is always there and that all I have to do is open my heart the tiniest bit to let her in.  (this is not to say that the person who commented is in a place of desolation, I am merely relating my experience and wish that person peace and contentment on his own path whatever that may be.)

that said, here is a poem by a wonderful writer Ellen Bass:

 Pray for Peace
Pray to whomever you kneel down to:
Jesus nailed to his wooden or plastic cross,
his suffering face bent to kiss you,
Buddha still under the bo tree in scorching heat,
Adonai, Allah. Raise your arms to Mary
that she may lay her palm on our brows,
to Shekhina, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
to Inanna in her stripped descent.

Then pray to the bus driver who takes you to work.
On the bus, pray for everyone riding that bus,
for everyone riding buses all over the world.
Drop some silver and pray.

Waiting in line for the movies, for the ATM,
for your latte and croissant, offer your plea.
Make your eating and drinking a supplication.
Make your slicing of carrots a holy act,
each translucent layer of the onion, a deeper prayer.

To Hawk or Wolf, or the Great Whale, pray.
Bow down to terriers and shepherds and Siamese cats.
Fields of artichokes and elegant strawberries.

Make the brushing of your hair
a prayer, every strand its own voice,
singing in the choir on your head.
As you wash your face, the water slipping
through your fingers, a prayer: Water,
softest thing on earth, gentleness
that wears away rock.

Making love, of course, is already prayer.
Skin, and open mouths worshipping that skin,
the fragile cases we are poured into.

If you’re hungry, pray. If you’re tired.
Pray to Gandhi and Dorothy Day.
Shakespeare. Sappho. Sojourner Truth.

When you walk to your car, to the mailbox,
to the video store, let each step
be a prayer that we all keep our legs,
that we do not blow off anyone else’s legs.
Or crush their skulls.
And if you are riding on a bicycle
or a skateboard, in a wheelchair, each revolution
of the wheels a prayer as the earth revolves:
less harm, less harm, less harm.

And as you work, typing with a new manicure,
a tiny palm tree painted on one pearlescent nail
or delivering soda or drawing good blood
into rubber-capped vials, writing on a blackboard
with yellow chalk, twirling pizzas–

With each breath in, take in the faith of those
who have believed when belief seemed foolish,
who persevered. With each breath out, cherish.

Pull weeds for peace, turn over in your sleep for peace,
feed the birds, each shiny seed
that spills onto the earth, another second of peace.
Wash your dishes, call your mother, drink wine.

Shovel leaves or snow or trash from your sidewalk.
Make a path. Fold a photo of a dead child
around your VISA card. Scoop your holy water
from the gutter. Gnaw your crust.
Mumble along like a crazy person, stumbling
your prayer through the streets.

what a wonderfully uplifting thing to read as I begin the day.

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2 Responses

  1. I loved this poem. I had to read it in spurts though, I felt like I needed to absorb and think about each section. Reading it at once boggled my mind. Poignant.

  2. I felt the same way about the poem. I have actually went back to read it several times and felt like I was reading it anew. I think – what a way to live. In a state of prayerful peace to invite that peace into your world and to the world at large. I think if you really practiced this, it would change your perspective on life and keep you in a loving place.
    Ellen Bass is great. I just got her new book of poetry “The Human Line”. Her book with Laura Davis “Courage to Heal” really saved me during a difficult time of uncovery and led me to recovery.

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