A Light Spirit

This morning, I wasn’t going to write. Wean yourself off of it, myself said to itself. Just live and stop the dribble.
 
And then, I read a comment that was written by one of our readers, and it said that I was such an inspiration, which was very nice, sweet, and kind.
 
Sitting here in my Barney robe, which is as purple as purple can be, hair pulled back in a bit of a slick mess, I don’t quite feel like an inspiration. Just a human. Simply a Norwood Girl who gives life a whirl and reports in on her doings.
 
It couldn’t
be that I am in a “light” mode. I just decided that is what this time is, my period of healing. I am always concerned that I will accidentally write that I am trying to learn how to heel. Ruff, ruff.
 
It is a time of reflection, but a different kind of reflection than normal.
 
Though I whipper-snap my way through many things, last year, life, some of my ways of thinking, some of my less than stellar habits, and, perhaps, an awakening to the fact that body, mind and spirit must work together in order to have a healthy life.
 
Because of the events of last year, I have stepped back. I am studying, learning, letting go of focus, breathing deeply, sorting through my mind and decluttering my thinking.
 
It is a joyful experience, for the most part, but I can still give myself the stinker, for a nanosecond, because I am not busy doing, you know, creative things.
 
I am working on spirit. Don’t laugh. And I am trying not to get so far up my own periscope, that it all becomes about me. But right now, a lot of it is. And that is fine. When you hit a car, a wall, or end up in the hospital with someone asking if you want to be revived, you are an idiot if you don’t see that as a sing that something you are doing, isn’t right.
 
What a gift that I have been given to be here to write this. What a joy it is to step back and not try to make life happen. Come to terms. Adjust. Change.
 
Yes. I am changing.
 
I am more into the spirit of living than creating for creativity’s sake. Peace. Saying no, I can’t go there.
 
That is a new little sentence for me. I use it, now. I didn’t use it, before. I am amazed at how good it feels. Perhaps it is a boundary that I have put up to protect myself. So be it. I should have done it years ago. But to those of us who want to save the world, save others … those are hard words to spit out.
 
I say them proudly, now. Instead of making me feel weak, they make me feel strong. It si empowering to realize your limits.
 
I have been listening to som songs that I love, contemporary songs of spirit and praise. There is one that I have loved for years, and I played it when I was asked to do a minister at a church service. It is actually a prayer by St. Francis of Assisi. It is sung by Elaine Silver.
 
Here are the words. I leave them with you on this Friday, a cold day, with rays of sunshine, rays of hope and a beautiful Carolina Blue sky.
 
Susan
 
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
 
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
 
Amen.
 
st. francis of assisi – 13th century
Coastline at the beach.jpeg

Do Not Let Us Fall Into Temptation

When I heard that the pope wanted to change the translation of what I call, “The Lord’s Prayer” and Catholics call the “Our Father” I thought, oh great, let’s monkey with something else.
 
Perhaps it was because, while perusing FB last evening, I saw a post that said that someoneradio stations were pulling the song, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” because it was offensive to schizophrenics.
 
I commented, “is that a joke?”
 
I mentioned it to Nick, and he said, “No, it is no joke.”
 
Good Gucci bags for all.
 
So, I put up the hood on my new Duke sweatshirt and slunk into my recliner.
 
Oh, for the record … now really a Duke fan, but I was freezing while walking through T.J. Max and walked by a bright blue Duke sweatshirt and thought, hum looks like that is warm and it will fit and I grabbed it. Go Blue devils. Whoops. Shouldn’t say that … it has the word ‘devil’ in it.
 
As a writer and as a human with a bit of an attitude aout words, I really dislike certain words being hijacked and pretty much put into political correctness time out.
 
We have become way too sensitive and silly.
 
So, back to the above Our Father.
 
I am not Catholic, so, it really isn’t my business as to what the pope says or what he does. But that doesn’t stop me from observing and being interested in the Catholic Church, as it has held a fascination with me since my upbrining in Norwood.
 
I loved the Catholic churches in Norwood. There were many, each with its own school where kids wore uniforms and got off school for lots of Holy Days and they had great festivals.
 
They were much more exciting than the NPC, Norwood Presbyterian Church. Although the Mama’s cookies and Kool-Aid were good at vacation Bible school, most of the time, being a Presbyterian was rather bland. And don’t get me started on trying to find a runner-free pair of panty hose to wear to church.
 
I have believed, probably naively, that there are certain things that “just are.” Things that you don’t change.
 
That has been a great fallacy in my thinking. I learned that things change. When I was little, I thought certain stores were always “there” and always would be there. It caught me off guard when stores closed or even worse, changed names. Mabely and Carew, McAlpins, Shillitos, and these days, Time Warner, into Spectrum.
 
I dislike rocking my mental hourse in such a way.
 
So, since this is jumping around a bit, let me through in that the sun is out and the skies anre the Carolina Blue and I have gifts to wrap and I need to vacuum.
 
And life is good.
 
Back to the pope.
 
I was ready to tsk, tsk, his idea before I even read what or why. I can do that, you know … think things before I think things.
 
So, I looked up what the pope wanted to do. I was ready with my sarcasm and snickery attitude.
 
And then I read what and why he wanted to change.
 
I agreed with him and saw what he was saying as a positive.
 
It goes baack to words, translations, and words getting lost in translation.
 
“Lead us not into temptation,” was the passage thta the pope thought was not in the vein of what God wanted. Now, who really knows what God wants? Go ahead, argue about that, but it is just a visceral type question.
 
As I sat and said the Lord’s Prayer, which has that same line … and I found that everything else is said in a positive way, one of praise and prayer and was not in an accusatory way. But tht line, “Lead us not into temptation,” according to my understanding of what thepope was trying to convey, makes it sound that God sets us up and waits for us to fall. In truth, if you believe it, that is not the God that is spoken about in the prayer. And don’t we, as humans, set ourselves up for temptation?
 
So, I found that a very good study of the prayer and in my mind, the pope went up a pedestal, in my book.
 
A better way of saying it is, which some French churches have adopted, is, “do not let us fall into temptation.”
 
I like that. Viva La France!
 
After reading that bit and seeing how I had almost tripped myself up with a snarky mindset, I was pleased with myself for doing a bit of maturing, growing and finding my open mind.
 
That was an excellent start to my day.
 
Susan