Speaking of Faith, HERE
A friend came for tea and a visit yesterday. After years of depression and exhaustion she's gone off her medication to simply be with what she feels. She is tired of doing "as she should." She's tired of being her “husband’s bracelet” at affairs where people speak of things that hold no interest for her. She wants to do what she has longed for since she was a little girl.
She wants to touch God.
And she is no longer going to be put off by lack of permission, a checklist of obligatory to do’s, nor the terrifying Nothing that she sees inside. She decided to do what makes her happy, despite her minister’s warning against self-indulgence.
So she came to tea and held Bennie in her lap and ran her fingers through his fur and bit into her first falafel.
So, here. Here is a poem to her courage. Here is tribute to her choice and to her path.
Here is for all of us.
I came by it via National Public Radio’s Speaking of Faith program on depression, the link to which you’ll find either below or under links.
is a tree abundant with lemons, in dark midwinter. Here
is another instance of embrace, you call it
the ocean meeting the horizon. Here
is your chair, your orange cat, your cup of cranberry tea.
Here is the rain no one was sure would fall.
Here is the conversation, did you think
you wanted another? Here is your daughter
coming downstairs to call her dog, this dog,
who bounded into our lives the summer you thought
nothing so comical would ever again be possible.
Here is the love that seemed impossible, as much
in your hands as that rock you're holding,
picked from the crest of a hill you thought
you didn't have the strength enough to climb.
Here is your joy, that created itself
without your knowing it;
here is the sunlight pouring through leaves
of pyrocanthus, lush red berries, the last sunlight today
between layers of cloud & evening.
Here is the life you meant when you said
to your friends after the walk & the good
morning's work, I wish I were living
my days like this, & she
handed you the carrots she had peeled
only for you, just at that
moment, & smiled
at everything, & said to you, You are.
Anita Barrows poet, psychologist, and translator of Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God.
And in case I don’t get the link put in, here it is for Speaking of Faith in simple text: