In the secret recesses of my heart I hide you.
I take you out when I am alone and then allow my mind to imagine all we would do together:
the walks in the sunshine,
the quiet peace of being in your presence,
laying my head on your shoulder and hearing your voice as a wonderful cool stream, refreshing and quenching my thirst.
I take out my memories like little treasures hidden in my pocket and I hold them delicately and warmly and I love them
my secret little possessions that no one can take from me, and no one can share with me.
No. This is mine.
And this is my strength, invigorating me when I am lonely.
Comforting me when I am confused.
These things I guard with all my might. Locked up tight.
If ever I allow someone a peek into these things, inevitably they misunderstand,
or begin a tirade of well- meaning advice.
No. No more. From now on, it’s just me and my secret stash locked away for a time.
A time when it will be okay.
A time appointed for us that no one knows yet.
Not even you and me.
Not my prayers and requests
Not your answers
No seeking a future time
When you finally “fix” everything
When the world is anew
Or thy Kingdom come
I’m not going to mind all that stuff anymore
I only want this one thing:
To seek after You.
Spend time with you
You are invisible, but not unknowable
I will do my part
Not like before, where I tell you all my troubles,
wait a few minutes to be sure you heard
then go on my way
I will press on you to stay.
Plead with you to share with me
Share your humor, your perspective, your enjoyment
You are not of this world, and your thoughts are so refreshing
To have you in my company is my greatest privilege
The answer to the highest prayer
Spirit without measure
For the sake of knowing you and spending time with you
How I adore you, my Prince
We come together and we share. We try to allow a little peek behind the curtain. Not too much, as we need to be careful. Are you to be trusted? Are you kind? Are you going to try to see more? Why do you want to poke around there behind my curtain? I don’t trust you. How about you just sit there and sip your tea. Stop asking questions. Maybe we could just sit here together. And not say so much. Maybe I could just look into your eyes and see what kind of person you are. It is quiet now. You sip your tea. Okay. I will share some more. Could you please try to be careful? Could you try to not say anything this time? Could you try to just be quiet?
If it is safe, I will be much more apt to share again. If you accept me, and can look at me now and see me, if you can look at who I am right now, and not point out all the things we could fix, or change, if you could just be a mirror, and say nothing. That would help.
I am well aware of the entire scene behind the curtain. I have not been hiding from it. I am just waiting for a safe place to sort it out. I don’t really want to do it alone. And I don’t want someone to do it for me. I just need a place where I can pull back the curtain and spend a moment assessing what is there, without judgment.
You’re smiling now. You enjoying your tea? I will give you the benefit of the doubt and I will hope and pray once again that you love me, and you are not just trying to win a game.
“I can see I have over stepped my bounds time and again. I have hurt you when you opened up to me. As I sit here and watch you, I think how strong you have become. I do not want you to pull back that curtain. Only if you truly trust me and know how deeply I love you would I want to be allowed to know what you have stashed back there. It is okay with me just to be in your presence. I only want to love you. And I already find you beautiful. Help me to be all you need and want in a mom.”
I believe in brain chemistry: endorphins, serotonin, etc. I also believe in self-control, positive thinking, cognitive therapy. But in the morning I believe in the chemical stuff more. I hate mornings. As soon as I open my eyes, I have this awful feeling of grief as if I just remembered someone died yesterday. And I have to be awake. I have to get up anyway. I have to face the world. And I really would rather go back to sleep and wake up when it’s over. The thing is, no one died yesterday. And this is just how I feel, before I have a single thought. There are no thoughts. Just this feeling. A feeling of dread, of sorrow, almost one of hatred. But then cognition gets going and I remind myself that this is just my pre-coffee self. Once I force myself to get up, and drink some java, the anger and dread subside, and the mind begins working better, and the feelings flee and become an echo of some forgotten misery that never really was. And the age-old debate continues: Do thoughts precede feelings? Or do feelings precede thoughts? There is no doubt in my mind the feelings run all amuck on their own. And my poor brain must interpret and regroup and redirect them at every turn. With the help of a cheap and legal stimulant. Thank God for coffee. It makes for a nice transformation from ugly muck-covered sewer lizard crawling to land (that’s me waking up) to an ethereal optimist emerging from said creature with a heartfelt smile of gratitude while the lizard withers away to oblivion. Until the morrow.
There is a quiet commotion as the people leave their pews and make their way to the center aisle to receive the Body of Christ. I kneel to pray and the words come: Give us this day, our daily bread. The words take on new meaning:
Give us this day, our daily bread.
A friend recently told me that the priest has to do the communion mass every day, whether anyone comes or not. Every day. Our daily bread.
And there it is again. The Eucharist, the Body of Christ. The Lord our Righteousness. His body, His blood, His sacrifice. And we partakers. I smile. Focused on this one thing. This one thing.