God, the hummingbird is waiting…

God, the hummingbird is waiting
while the butterfly drinks,

and I don’t think
that the hummingbird is,
impatient or irritated,

or any of the many
of my feelings when I wait
during these uncertain times…

This morning
I pray for everyone who waits —
one for a COVID-19 test result,
one to re-schedule a cancelled flight,
while trying not to touch
anything in the airport,
one finishing a job interview,
one sitting at the restaurant table
with two menus
and only one chair filled.

I pray for the family with hospice,
the college freshman
wondering whether to signup
“in person” or virtual,
for everyone in the courtroom
as the jury returns,

for women with the swelling
under the heart
of the third trimester,
and parents who listen
for a late-night car door bang
to announce an adolescent’s return.

I think about the feeder,
and pray for each one of these,

that when life pauses,
and they hover —
they feel your updraft under their wings.

amen

~~ Maren C. Tirabassi ~~

The Pandemic Is a Portal

What is this thing that has happened to us? It’s a virus, yes. In and of itself it holds no moral brief. But it is definitely more than a virus. Some believe it’s God’s way of bringing us to our senses. Others that it’s a Chinese conspiracy to take over the world.

Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality,” trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

~~ Arundhati Roy ~~

Prayer

God, the hummingbird is waiting
while the butterfly drinks,

and I don’t think
that the hummingbird is kind,
or patient or irritated,

or any of the many
of my feelings when I wait.

This morning
I pray for everyone who waits —
one for a COVID-19 test result,
one to re-schedule a cancelled flight,
while trying not to touch
anything in the airport,
one finishing a job interview,
one sitting at the restaurant table
with two menus
and only one chair filled.

I pray for the family with hospice,
the college freshman
wondering whether to signup
“in person” or virtual,
for everyone in the courtroom
as the jury returns,

for women with the swelling
under the heart
of the third trimester,
and parents who listen
for a late-night cardoor-bang
to announce an adolescent’s return.

I think about the feeder,
and pray for each one of these,

that when life pauses,
and they hover —
they feel your updraft under their wings.

amen

~~ Maren C. Tirabassi ~~

And the People Stayed Home

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.” ~~ Kitty O’Meara

During difficult times…

“Grandma once gave me a tip:

During difficult times, you move forward in small steps.
Do what you have to do, but little by bit.
Don’t think about the future, not even what might happen tomorrow. Wash the dishes.
Take off the dust.
Write a letter.
Make some soup.
Do you see?
You are moving forward step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Get some rest.
Compliment yourself.
Take another step.
Then another one.
You won’t notice, but your steps will grow bigger and bigger.
And time will come when you can think about the future without crying. Good morning.”

Elena Mikhalkova, “The Room of Ancient Keys”

Riveted

It is possible that things will not get better
than they are now, or have been known to be.
It is possible that we are past the middle now.
It is possible that we have crossed the great water
without knowing it, and stand now on the other side.
Yes: I think that we have crossed it. Now
we are being given tickets, and they are not
tickets to the show we had been thinking of,
but to a different show, clearly inferior.

Check again: it is our own name on the envelope.
The tickets are to that other show.

It is possible that we will walk out of the darkened hall
without waiting for the last act: people do.
Some people do. But it is probable
that we will stay seated in our narrow seats
all through the tedious denouement
to the unsurprising end- riveted, as it were;
spellbound by our own imperfect lives
because they are lives,
and because they are ours.

~~ Robyn Sarah ~~

Courage

It is in the small things we see it.
The child’s first step,
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike,
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien,
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

Later,
if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
cover your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

Later,
if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off our heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

Later,
when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways,
each spring will be a sword you’ll sharpen,
those you love will live in a fever of love,
and you’ll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you’ll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out.

~~ Anne Sexton ~~

 

A Prayer for Your Wild Soul

Give yourself time to make a prayer that will become the prayer of your soul. Listen to the voices of longing in your soul. Listen to your hungers. Give attention to the unexpected that lives around the rim of your life. Listen to your memory and to the inrush of your future, to the voices of those near you and those you have lost. Out of all of that attention to your soul, make a prayer that is big enough for your wild soul, yet tender enough for your shy and awkward vulnerability; that has enough healing to gain the ointment of divine forgiveness for your wounds; enough truth and vigour to challenge your blindness and complacency; enough graciousness and vision to mirror your immortal beauty. Write a prayer that is worthy of the destiny to which you have been called.

~~ John O’Donohue ~~

 

The River

“I am only a ferryman and it is my task to take people across this river. I
have taken thousands of people across and to all of them my river has
been nothing but a hindrance on their journey. They have travelled for
money and business, to weddings and on pilgrimages; the river has
been in their way and the ferryman was there to take them quickly
across the obstacle. However, amongst the thousands there have been
a few, four or five, to whom the river was not an obstacle. They have
heard its voice and listened to it, and the river has become holy to them,
as it has to me. “Have you also learned that secret from the river; that
there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same
time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the
current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the
present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of
the future.”

 

~ From ‘Siddhartha’ by Herman Hesse

 

 

It is almost as if…

“It is almost as if we are all playing a big game of hide-and-go-seek. We all hide expecting to be found, but no one has been labelled the seeker. We stand behind the wall, at first excited, then worried, then bored, then anxious, then angry. We hide and hide. After a while, the game is not fun anymore. Where is my seeker? Where is the person who is supposed to come find me here in my protected shell and cut me open? Where is that one who will make me trust him, make me comfortable, make me feel whole? Some people rot on the spot, waiting for the seeker that never comes. The most important truth that I can relate to you, if you are hiding and waiting, is that the seeker is you and the world, behind so many walls, awaits.” ~ Vironika Tugaleva