Tags: prayer


When You Pray, Move Your Feet

The December air bights my ungloved fingers and nibbles my ears as we walk, just you and I. Thousands of lights wink at us from houses full to bursting with families and cookies and rolls of sparkly red paper. My mom's little, lonely apartment feels so far removed from this American Christmas panorama we're passing. I long for that simplicity; a holiday in one place with the same people year after year. How I can miss something I've never had is a mystery. I don't dwell on this for long since it seems fruitless to wish for things that can never be.

I tell you about the sadness I don't understand that has ballooned inside Mom since my step-father left last summer. The joy and release I felt at this event are not shared by all involved and I struggle to empathize. How can she love and miss such a cruel and thoughtless man? Why did she stay for so long when he did nothing but tare us all down as if we were derelict buildings deserving of destruction? You tell me that one day, I will understand; one day a love that is powerful and ugly will push me to the brink of myself and I, like Mom, will not always choose wisely. I, (knowing without a shadow of doubt that I am nothing like my mother), don't believe you. Still, I tuck the advice away in a corner of my heart to ponder later.

There is so much I don't tell you about; the alcohol, the boys, the sadness that ballooned in me… I don't really know when. I resolve to change, to try harder, to be more of what you want. You know where I've been without me telling you, and you don't push me to talk. You tell me I am good enough; you tell me I am loved and precious and just what you created me to be. I can't believe you… not yet.

The distant sound of church bells singing their praises reaches into my soul, warming some part of me that has been numb for too long. You've always done this to me; whenever I close my ears and my heart to what you say, you send music to tell me what I need to know. The notes are a salve for my wounds and a song for my lips.

Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

 Amelia by Joni Mitchell from Hejira (Rating: 5)