Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: God’s Love and Acceptance

I felt a Cleaving in my Mind — | Emily Dickinson

chaos-in-markets-britain

I wrote this immediately after the November 2016 election of Mr. Trump. It still rings true–no matter who wins the November 2020 election. 

Here’s a timely poem from Emily Dickinson. What’s it like to be at loose ends? My comments follow.

I felt a Cleaving in my Mind –
As if my Brain had split –
I tried to match it – Seam by Seam –
But could not make them fit.

The thought behind, I strove to join
Unto the thought before –
But Sequence raveled out of Sound
Like Balls – upon a Floor.

c. 1864

Emily Dickinson Poems, Edited by Brenda Hillman
Shambhala Pocket Classics, Shambhala 1995

Things undone aren’t easily put back together. Especially when accompanied by relentless news reports and photos I’d rather not see. Faces of jubilation; women and men in shocked disbelief; children weeping from fear. The presidential election was a massive Cleaving in my Mind.

Is this our new reality? Out of control. Out of bounds. Out of patience. Out of solutions. Out of hope. Out of compassion. Out of generosity. Out of truth-telling. Our deficits are phenomenal.

Yet I’m called to faithfulness, courage, boldness and creativity.

There isn’t a magic or even supernatural solution to all this confusion. Human confusion is our normal state of being. Confusion about who I am, who you are, what’s going on, who’s in charge, what’s right and what’s wrong, what will bring me happiness, and how to get out of this mess.

I know one thing: I won’t get out of this confusion. Though my thoughts and emotions are important, they don’t offer answers that dispel all confusion. Even my best efforts won’t drive confusion away. They may, in fact, make things worse.

The answer isn’t about what I do, feel or think. It’s about who I am. Right now. True, this affects what I do, feel and think. Yet the starting point is always ‘Who am I right now?’

Thankfully, this hasn’t changed. No election can take this away. I’m God’s beloved daughter child. Not by privilege, but by grace. I’m not God’s only or special child. God has more than enough love, patience, mercy and kindness for each of us. In a strange way, it isn’t about us; it’s about God.

I don’t know what this looks like from one day to the next, or exactly where it’s leading. I do know that moving forward one tiny step each day as God’s beloved daughter child is more than enough. All I need to do is keep taking baby steps. Especially when the mist is so dense I can’t see where this is leading, and ocean swells rise deep within me.

Knowledge about who I am doesn’t reconstruct my brain and it won’t restring the tiny beads that just skittered all over the floor. It does, however, refocus my anxiety and confusion. I am responsible for three things: loving God with all my heart; loving myself, and loving my neighbor as I love myself.

I don’t need to understand everything. I do need to keep inching forward step by step, based on the situation I’m facing. I can’t control human confusion—mine or anyone else’s. But I can speak with my neighbor, comfort a child, offer a listening ear or send up a silent prayer.

I pray this finds you listening and trusting, no matter how bleak or uncertain things look right now.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 12 November 2016, lightly edited and reposted 1 September 2020
Image found at wsj.com (Wall Street Journal)

I felt a Cleaving in my Mind —

chaos-in-markets-britain

Here’s a timely poem from Emily Dickinson. She captures what it’s like to be at loose ends. Unable to think straight, sort out feelings, or fit oneself into the new reality. My personal comments follow.

I felt a Cleaving in my Mind –
As if my Brain had split –
I tried to match it – Seam by Seam –
But could not make them fit.

The thought behind, I strove to join
Unto the thought before –
But Sequence raveled out of Sound
Like Balls – upon a Floor.

c. 1864

Emily Dickinson Poems, Edited by Brenda Hillman
Shambhala Pocket Classics, Shambhala 1995

Things undone aren’t easily put back together. Especially when accompanied by Read the rest of this entry »

Queen for a Day Bans

grandpa-gury-jer-egr-erf-2-dec-1944_0002

I hate the word ‘banned’
My father was the King of Bans
My life as a child was ruled by Bans
My father’s list of Thou shalt Nots
conveniently fenced me in
and robbed evil of its hate-filled power

Wrong!
A thousand times wrong!
The wrong on the tip of my tongue
The wrong in the imaginations of my heart
The wrong in my never-delivered tirades
The wrong my father, and then I did to my body and soul
Haunts me seven decades later

I’m a Queen
though not by succession
I sometimes proclaim myself Queen
Crown myself and decide for myself
What I will and will not do or say
In the secret places of my mind and heart
from which I banned my father

I hereby proclaim myself Queen for a Day
And designate my personal bans for this day–
The 103rd anniversary of my deceased father’s birth

I hereby ban
self-neglect of my female body and soul
that minimizes its need to be respected and cared for
as a gift entrusted to me by God

I hereby ban
All assumptions about my father
Including whether he would or would not
accept my forgiveness

Finally, I hereby ban
Any shred of fear or self-righteousness
That keeps me from opening my heart
to God’s overwhelming love and acceptance of me.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 26 October 2016
Photo of my father, maternal grandfather, mother and me, 1943/44

WordPress Daily Prompt: Banned

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