(The first impediment to authentic faith: Mocking the process. I always get my back foot caught trying to clear that hurdle.)
"I surrender again. Really. I can't. Here. Take it."
And I began reading from The List In My Head.
The List contains all the things that I want
to surrender but
I am afraid to.
The List is like a collection of fears and doubts about
all the stuff
I can't live without
or think I have to have,
that I have to figure out
how to keep or get
"if I only manage well."
It doesn't help
or it doesn't matter
that the list is reasonable:
health shelter sustenance the ability to
make my way in the world yet again.
"I surrender. Again."
I want to use The List's very reasonableness as a bargaining chip,
"Come on, it's not like I'm asking for THIS, I'm just asking for this,
You should accommodate me."
Apparently that's not how it works because
if it did I would have been
performance art surrender,
the surrender which contains the tiny hidden tumor of
The "Okay, okay, NOW I surrender.
So... since I did... now I get what I'm asking for, yes?"
that doesn't work, either,
Because if it did, well,
So I lay there in the dark, and I closed my eyes,
and I paused in my List to let all the
weird purple swirls behind my eyelids
and then I pictured an altar with a fire.
And I went down the List, and with each item I said
"Take it. Take it." and I fed it to the fire.
"I'm afraid I'll lose the apartment, and I'll have to move, or worse, but... Your will be done. Take it. Take it."
and WHOOSH I fed it into the fire.
"The job interview. Even just... the job... Your will be done. Take it. Take it."
WHOOSH I fed it to the fire.
"My bum foot... my health... Your will take it take it."
WHOOSH fed to the fire.
"My relationship. Your will. Take it."
The long list of petty and grand fears and hopes and expectations and then
"Your will. Your will."
My spirituality can slide pretty easily into superstition, which is just the frightened part of me trying to find the recipe for how to get God to do what I want. Along with that is the fear that if I surrender something -- truly surrender it -- then the worst possible outcome -- the outcome I fear most -- has now been given cosmic "permission" to manifest.
Which is not just trying to manipulate God, it's trying to play God too.
It would be so great to be able to write here,
to share with you,
that after this burning prayer I felt that "great clean wind of a mountain top blowing through and through."
An impact sudden and profound.
But my List is long, (I can be very frightened, sometimes)
and I fell asleep as I offered it,
WHOOSH WHOOSH hush
and dreamed of clean flames and great love and things I won't share here.