Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Pain and Sorrow

Peace is a Gift

alpine-flowers_25137

Sometimes the most helpful thing I can do is listen to what I’ve already written. The last several weeks have been difficult. Not just for me, but for this tired old world that isn’t holding together very well. The poem below, first posted in August 2016, calls me back to what matters most for today and tomorrow, no matter what happens next.         

Nurture peace in your heart—
Welcome and savor it
Cultivate it
Water it
Let it rest
Give it space

Take its time for your time
Wrap it around your body yourself

Your shawl becomes you—
Blue as the heavens
Green as the garden
Brown as the good earth

Living, fragile
Strong, unpredictable
Invasive and healing
Tiny alpine flowers
Silken threads of peace
Woven into mortal beauty
Whispers of heaven

Peace is a gift waiting to be discovered. Not ‘out there,’ but in my heart. Sometimes I lock it away. Give it up for dead. Crowd it out because of fear, sorrow or disbelief. Throw up my hands and let it go as an unrealistic dream.

Other times I want someone to hand me peace on a platter. But peace won’t come from anyone else. It’s already in me, waiting to be re-discovered and cared for. Not once or twice, but as often as needed.

Some people talk about their prayer shawls. I want a ‘peace shawl.’ An outer reminder of an inner reality that’s mine when I’m willing to care for it. No matter what’s going on in my inner or outer world.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 13 August 2016, reposted 14 August 2021
Photo of Alpine Flowers found at WallpaperWeb.org

The patient

The patient lies dying
Body wasting
Skin pale and taut
lethargic eyes stare
from hollowed out sockets
Faded remnants of life born in hope
disappear in deep shadows

A priest garbed in vestments
stands before a makeshift altar
Demeanor and voice concentrated
on the proper order of things
His hands grasp the sacrament of life
hanging heavy in this cramped space

A young altar boy looks on
Head and eyes slightly averted
Hands clasped close to his chest
Sad eyes try not to stare

Filtered through a small window
dying light descends into the room
touching the patient’s Madonna-like robe
with a gleaming halo of grace
This is somebody’s beloved child
Fragile and sick unto death
Beyond hope of survival
Now the center of attention
Seated in a chair of royal honor

Tender looks and hand of a caregiver
Rest lightly on the young child
A man sits in shadows
Body bent in despair
Head slumping on his hand
A small dog sits on his lap
Looking on with downcast eyes
The priest’s voice continues

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 11 August 2017
Painting found at Wickipedia
1888 Painting by Venezuelan artist, Cristóbal Rojas (1857-1890)
Rojas died of tuberculosis about 5 weeks before his 33rd birthday. 

Peace is a Gift

alpine-flowers_25137

Nurture peace in your heart—
Welcome and savor it
Cultivate it
Water it
Let it rest
Give it space

Take its time for your time
Wrap it around your body yourself

Your shawl becomes you—
Blue as the heavens
Green as the garden
Brown as the good earth Read the rest of this entry »

morning birdsong

P1060334

~~~Young Song Sparrow, Longwood Meadow

morning birdsong
calms my troubled heart
centers my soul

* * *

Yesterday’s Sabbath was a challenge.
Not because my spirit didn’t welcome it,
but because my body kept voting No
to all the delights I’d planned. Read the rest of this entry »

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