Etched into the faceThe eyes The shoulders, tensed Fingers rigidly grasped Broadcasting Observed, Those who see Who are aware Who open up beyond themselves Who are concerned. Unfathomable to so many An abyss lies before them What they see is the darkness That they detour Avoid Move away from Not understanding The darkness is the abyss As the abyss is that someone Who could not detour Avoid Move away Who is in that abyss Plunging down. Light comes in many forms But it has to be taken in Wished for Prayed for Delivered By one’s own doings It is a burden On top of so many others. *************************************************
This is my 100th post since beginning this blog on November 18, 2012. I began this a month after my mother passed away; I had been writing, but my feelings and such were mixed in with my creative writing on Tale Spinning. You may, or may not know, that the Rabbi I had just begun seeing. She asked me to try and write in the first person, not hiding anything in my fiction. As that was not what Tale Spinning is about, I created this blog four days after meeting with her.
What does this mean for me? 100+ days have passed (as I have not written every single day, though I have tried) since starting this blog, plus the extra month. I wonder if this blog has just about run it’s course, and I ask myself that on the days that I feel I have nothing to write, nothing to give. I know I will not place an extra burden on myself by continuing this just for the sake of continuing. It needs to have meaning for me; this has never been about getting a large number of readers, but just a way to find some catharsis in releasing, in self examination, in being as open and honest as I possibly can.
I hope that while I continue this it remains helpful to others. Some have written to me, either here or in private communications, telling me that this has been important for them, in various ways. For that, I am glad.
I want to thank: Rabbi Pam for (inadvertently) starting me on this path; all my friends, whose caring has helped see me through this dark time; and you, the readers who I’ve gotten to “know” through comments and those of you who read but keep to yourself. For all: from Talking to God, by Naomi Levy (c):
“Please, God, help me to recognize my strength. May I always remember that no matter how far I have fallen, no matter how bleak my life may seem, no matter how lost I feel, that I can always begin again. Amen.“
Thank you for being here with me. I hope you find the strength within yourself and are able to continue sharing it with others.
“Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.” – Jean Anouilh
“It is astonishing how little one feels alone when one loves.” – John Bulwer
“Love is not consolation. It is light.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
What is healthy love?
When it is not tinged with demands
When it is not cloying, demanding, needy
When it is not attached to so many strings
That you strangle upon the words
That are never truly believed
That bind and hurt and control.
What is healthy love?
It asks for nothing
Is given freely
Demands nothing in return
Stands on its own, refreshed daily
And at night, it wraps its arms around you
Secure, comforting, reaching deep inside
Allowing you to be just that
And caring so much about you
Your well being
A healthy love envelops without smothering
A healthy love heals
A healthy love is secure
Here is to a healthy love
“There are often times, O God, when I feel alone, and yet I know in my heart that I am never alone. You are always there waiting for me to speak to You of my desires, hopes and dreams.
Yet how seldom do I reach out to You to voice my gratitude for all that is beautiful in my life…all the gifts of my life. Love, family, friendship have come from You.
But the greatest gift of all is Your presence, which time and again has given me strength, faith and courage.
Now, in the midst of doubt and confusion, I need to know that You are beside me in the depth of my being. With You there, I know I am not alone-ever.
My Friend, my strength, my God.” ~ from Gates of Healing
I have struggled with this prayer, as I have with some others, since Rabbi Pam gave me the book Gates of Healing after my mother’s death. In meeting with her this week, we talked about interpretations, finding my own meanings in the prayers I have chosen, or were chosen for me, to say. She talked of how the great Rabbi’s of the past have “riffed” on passages, giving them context to the situations of their lives at that time.
One thing she said, when I confessed my confusion of still not finding the belief so deeply in God as others around me: look as God within the faces/presence of those who surround me, who offer me love and caring and goodness of their hearts. Not as an abstract, but placed before me in the people who are here. It took me off to the side, examining her words, and this prayer came to mind, and has been very strong the last few mornings.
What has given me strength, faith and courage in the midst of all that I’ve gone through are those loved ones, friends and family, known or internet only known, who have been there for me. If, as she says, God shows his presence, then yes, God has, time and again, given me that greatest gift.
This, by the way, was not the interpretation we discussed. I’ll save that for another post, as I’m still mulling it over, and want to pull my thoughts and feelings together.
Today is a snow day, as we are awaiting a blizzard of EPIC proportions (epic is for the newscasters who are predicting doom and gloom). I’ll be home, alone (hence the title of this piece), writing, sending out resumes, reading, and contemplating things, and at times, just watching the snow come down.
When you can sit back and just watch it fall
It drifts, blows, gathers
And the silence it brings,
The clean coat covering,
The softness spreads out before you.
“When I panic, God, teach me patience. When I fear, teach me faith. When I doubt myself, teach me confidence. When I despair, teach me hope. When I lose perspective, show me the way- back to love, back to life, back to You. Amen.” ~ from Talking to God by Naomi Levy (c) “When you feel broken, alone ,full of PAIN, and not sure of what to do anymore, just SMILE.” ~ from Unknown “Grant me, O God, the strength to face each hour of this and every day. In fact, when it seems that I cannot face even this hour, fill me with sufficient strength to face the next five minutes. Amen.” ~ from Gates of Healing, a message of comfort and joy