Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Journaling

On singing myself to sleep

Before I go to bed each night, I make an informal entry in my evening journal. Here’s the heart of what I wrote last night. I had in mind the ongoing three-ring circus of politics in the USA as well as my own health issues. Though you may not have had a blood draw early this morning, perhaps you can relate.

Today was gone before it began
I never caught up with it or myself

Tomorrow already bears down–
An early morning blood draw plus
everyday tasks amid unrelenting
uncertainty and distractions

Be close to me this night
Open my ears to hear and follow You
It’s time to rest beneath Your wings
And sing myself to sleep

I’ve often sung myself to sleep. Whatever pops into my mind. As many lines and verses as I can remember. Followed by the next song–usually a hymn–that rises to the surface.

When I was in grade school, it was somewhat onerous to memorize hymns (all stanzas, no mistakes). Nonetheless, I’m grateful for the comfort they bring to me. Especially at night when I’m feeling a bit lost in the craziness of our war-weary world.

Singing myself to sleep isn’t magic. It is, however, a way to do for myself something I can’t remember anyone doing for me as a child–singing me to sleep. In addition, it shuts out all those other voices clamoring for attention.

Thanks for stopping by today!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 14 June 2022
Photo found at

noisy silence

noisy silence
invades the old woman’s ears
cars cruise past her sleeping house
on their way to nowhere

darkness falls heavy
over her weary body
aching for mercy
and lovely songs that linger
through long nights
of farewell

Yesterday was a spectacular day. A grand mix of icy cold, beautiful sun, and a hint that we might be on a warming trend. My various body parts cooperated quite well so that I felt almost normal. Until late evening.

Something about evening can bring out pain and tears. True to form, last night my body reminded me that it’s still there and it isn’t getting any younger. Even so, it was a beautiful day–the kind that felt almost normal.

When it was time to sleep and my body objected, I went into my office, opened a notebook, and wrote whatever came to mind, including the first version of the poem above. Then I went to bed and promptly fell asleep.

Today isn’t nearly as spectacular as yesterday. Nonetheless, I’m grateful for another day on this earth with family members, friends, D, Smudge, and each of you, of course. Thanks for stopping by!


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 7 February 2022
Photo found at

Yesterday evening – a prayer of lament

Most evenings I take time to jot down how I’m feeling. Sometimes I’m so weary I can scarcely keep my eyes open.

But yesterday evening was different. I’d spent time that evening going through old files from years of teaching and being a graduate student. Part of me was laughing and enjoying seeing some of the cheeky things I’d written in my younger years. The other part of me kicked in near the end—a little voice that wouldn’t let me go.

So when I sat down in the late evening with my journal, this is what I wrote to God—a prayer of lament, I think.

Oh God, I feel so empty tonight—so out of touch with the woman I am today. It seems my best work and my most memorable efforts are all in the past. Filed away in boxes of paper crammed with words—so many that I scarcely recognize myself back then.

Where did they all go? — Those words, ideas, images, insights, sparkling clear roadmaps to my past life and thinking and feeling.

They seem much more alive and important than anything I might manage to eke out today or tomorrow. Such high hopes and noble ambitions. And now this?

Please look kindly on my confusion through the eyes of Your merciful providence, and give me gratitude.

Then I went to bed and promptly fell asleep. A bit sobered, yet grateful for memories of so many good women and good men. And for the privilege of having touched their lives, and been touched by theirs.

I’m not the woman I thought I was when I arrived at the seminary to study or to teach. Or even when I began this blog.

Today I’m working on a piece for later this week. It’s about one of the most difficult subjects I’ve had to deal with personally and institutionally, as a member of various churches and as professor and dean at the seminary. Sexuality.

Thanks for reading and listening. And for helping grow me into the woman I am today.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 21 March 2018
Photo found at

rounding the bend

rounding the bend
tiny gold leaves lie scattered
on dark damp asphalt

* * *

It’s Monday, Labor Day, two years ago.  I’m out for an early morning walk.   It rained overnight and it’s still dripping and overcast.  But I’m restless for a walk.  Like the weather, my mood is unsettled. Read the rest of this entry »

Survival Rules for Good Girls | Part 2 of 2

When I read through my list of survival rules, my heart sinks. By age 7 or 8 I’ve found a way to do what Daddy wants me to do by explaining it to myself my way.  For all my supposed independent thinking and determination to be my own person with my own will and my own voice, I failed. Or did I? Read the rest of this entry »

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