You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘prayer/meditation’ tag.

Routines are like pages in a book whose material inspires, entertains, and instructs. Skilled in the craft and art of bookmaking, authors nuance the next right word to carry their project forward, until the work is completed.

I liken the routine I follow, daily, to this process. At first it was awkward to string the components together, not knowing what was wrong who me. For several years, what I call picky eaters or symptoms, have lodged in my lungs gnawing on my limited energy and enveloping me in more symptoms, especially inertia and shortness of breath.

The eventual diagnosis, ILD with RA, set the necessary pacing and parameters for living in this aging body. I learned timely pauses interspersed among activities of daily living. I learned to accept help with personal care and meal preparation, with its clean-up. I learned to rest/sleep atop my bed when wipe-out reduced me to inactivity. Such patterned each day within the doable routine of my housebound status.

However, the progression of my terminal illness has mandated major adjustments: use of continuous oxygen, the use of a speech amplifier to increase the volume of my voice, the dependence upon my walker, longer night-sleep maintained by low doses of liquid morphine and Lorazapan, and recently, time-released doses of morphine, 24/7, to help me breathe—all within my flexible routine.  

Like authors at the end of their day, I’m glad to let go of my routine, until the following morning. It’s working, with God’s help.

At 7:30 A. M., it was difficult waking from this celebratory dream:

I was initially alone, walking the country roads. Sunshine emboldened the trees, shrubs, meadows, even the dusty road curving ahead of me. After I turned the next bend, faint strains of guitars, rhythmic instruments, songs in all languages met me; the closer I got, the more distinct the strains. Then, a tall colorful character, dressed in scarlets and feathers blew a reed pipe, the breezes swirling the decorative ribbons attached to his wrists. Behind him, laughing children skipped and hopped making merry. As he approached other children sitting in the middle of the road, he handed them an instrument from his sack and invited them to join their celebration—a tambourine fell into mine and I began dancing with the others. 

At length the celebratory dance concluded, with promises to return next year. My heart felt heavy.

It was a gift to remember this dream, given the racing effects of my nightly “Cocktail”: small amounts of liquid morphine to help with breathing and lorazepam, with sleep. For months, mornings have been a tumble of splintered dreams that quickly fade, only leaving a brief residue of feelings.

In this dream, I am ecstatic. The appearance of a tall colorful character, likely Creator God in disguise, seemed intent upon actualizing everyone’s birthright before making their transition. Conceivably, the laughing children have already attained theirs.

But sadness concludes the dream

Still another year must pass before I’m permitted to celebrate another celebration with the tall colorful character, dressed in scarlets and feathers—Perhaps, referencing my own demise, burdened by more practice of my tambourine.

But this glance into my psyche gives me hope. I’ll know where to find Him.

Put together a man with a humble spirit, who for eight years scrapped brilliant compositions until birthing his distinct voice, tintinnabuli (Latin for “little bells”)—and you will thrill with the Estonian genius of Arov Part. I had such an experience.

His Miserere (1992) presents an awesome response to the Ukrainian burning, together with the long look at death’s specter. Stunned are our psyches with grief this Holy Week as we listen. Two liturgical hymns comprise this choral work: the Miserere, the great penitential Psalm 51, and the Sequence Dies Irae, found in the Roman Catholic Mass of the Dead. The composer’s Intimacy with the living Word of God shimmers in each note of the score.

As the piece opens, five soloists implore repeatedly for mercy, accompanied by woodwinds and percussion. Pregnant pauses for reflection follow, slowly building toward thundering drum-rolls: Catastrophe has struck—monumental shuddering follows in its wake. With its resolution, the choir ascends to radiant heights over the deep-throated resonance of the organ, tam-tam, and bell. Then it’s over. Earth knows peace.

We open our eyes and blink, then breathe. Mercy’s sweetness enfolds us within humble silence, until the next wave of grief… and the next theophany—the story of our lives.

Available on Amazon

%d bloggers like this: