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30 June 2012

A Bloody Flux

A timely repost as many prepare to preach on the woman with the vaginal hemorrhage.

The life is bleeding out of me again
the pain doubles me over
snatches my breath
and I clutch and clasp my abdomen.
I am not comforted.

My body shakes from the unrelenting waves of pain
I can't even curl up into a fetal position.

Hormonal imbalances
fibroid tumors
bloody fluxes
issues of blood

The life is bleeding out of me again.

The woman in the gospel on suffered for twelve years.
I have been bleeding for thirty years.
Her living Christ had a body, an accessible body
clothed in garments of prayer for her to touch, grasp, cling to.

My resurrected Christ is long gone from this earth
leaving no talisman behind
no certain healing touch
if I can just press my way
only the vagaries and unpredictabilities of modern medicine and prayer.

Unanticipated respite
days, weeks, years - five this last time
moments of grace until they are washed away
in another bloody flux.

25 June 2012

Living in the Moment

For the moment, I am able to live in the moment. I don't know how long it will last.

22 June 2012

What Sustains Me

Today's Blog brought to you by RevGalBlogPals, the circle of women clergy and seminarian bloggers (and some of their pals) who got me to blog in the first place and are my regular conversation partners.

  1. What brings you light in the dark places? 
  2. How do you connect/reconnect with God, and where do you find him/her holding you?
  3. Is there a prayer/poem/piece of liturgy that speaks life/sustains you?
  4. Is there a piece of music that lifts your heart?
  5. Is there a place you run to (even in your imagination?
Light in the Dark

A single flame, a single candle is all I need to see light radiating into, through and beyond the darkness. My favorite Advent hymn:

There's A Light in the Darkness (Over At The Frankenstein Place)

In the velvet darkness of the blackest night
Burning bright, there's a guiding star
No matter what or who you are.
There's a light over at the Frankenstein Place
There's a light burning in the fireplace
There's a light, light in the darkness of everybody's life.
The darkness must go down the river of nights dreaming
Flow morphia slow, let the sun and light come streaming
Into my life, into my life.
There's a light over at the Frankenstein Place
There's a light burning in the fireplace
There's a light, light in the darkness of everybody's life.
Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack

Reconnecting with God

Prayer, freeform, sighing, longing, hoping, no words necessary. And more recently burning, smelling and watching ascend, incense.

Holy Words
I have two prayer mantras:
אל נא רפא נא לא

"Hear Holy One, hear and heal (her)."
- My translation of Num 12:13, the prayer for Prophet Miriam's healing.

And, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner."

Sacred Songs
I love classical gospel music. A trinity of "storm" songs has accompanied  me in the last year:
James Cleveland Peace Be Still
My Soul is Anchored in the Lord

Sacred Space, Prayer Place

Prayer-walking in a favorite place. A couple of miles listening to gospel music. My prayer places vary depending on what continent I'm on. Here are a couple of my favorites. 
I am always restored by proximity to the water. And when it fills the horizon I am closet to God.

Paying For It

Earlier this year I caught a few episodes of Showtime's Gigolos, a reality show about male prostitutes in Las Vegas. I was fascinated and repelled, and couldn't look away. I was really interested in the women who paid for sex. The women I saw on the first episode all seemed damaged to me. They had been cheated on, abandoned and had low self-esteem. Later on there were women who seemed to be in charge of their own sexuality in a positive way: they were busy working women who traveled and chose to pay for sex rather than have relationships with demands they didn't want.
I tried to imagine a circumstance in which I would pay for sex and couldn't. And then I thought about the various forms of emotional and relational currency exchanged in a relationship and realized that there is more payment that we might be comfortable acknowledging in many if not most relationships.
And I thought about my masseur, whom I'll call Rob. I have thought that there is some irony in that I pay him to touch my (naked) body. Surely I should/could be paid for access to my body. But I'm not and don't want to be a sex-worker. Now while there is something therapeutic about massage - I get deep tissue sports massage, usually after I've been to the gym - there is also a great deal of pleasure. And that pleasure is physical, sensual. Am I paying for it? Yes. But what is it? Is it sex?
What is sex? Sex, especially good sex is so much more than genital contact and/or penetration. Is what makes sex sex the intent to provide orgasm? If so, then I'm not paying for it after all. But what about when I haven't worked out? What is I just want to be touched? Am I paying for it after all?

20 June 2012

To Live is to Age

Why did it take me so long to figure this out. Every day that I'm alive, I age. And not just in the wisdom-acquiring way. And it's not even about my external body-image. I'm deeply content with my appearance. I am troubles by all of the little - and not so little - aches, pains, dysfunctions, ailments and some serious stuff. I'm on more medication the I imagined was possible for someone founder than 80 without a terminal illness. One one levee, I'm grateful for the advances of modern medicine, especially pharmacology. On another, I'd like to go more elegantly into my dotage.