Tuesday, October 27, 2009

prayer flags

there are songs
that enter my head
and i recognize them
as songs from my heart -
let's call them prayers.

prayers were jobs once
bedtime postures,
words sent into the air
with pictures of people
in my head.

people i loved
and wished good things for
through my words.

with time
prayers became associated with repression.
a way
of acknowledging a relationship
with a less than benevolent person
who sat high up
and doled out
sorrow and kindness
depending on who or what or why
you were.

i knew this was wrong.
but it was what i knew.

so one day.
i don't know when or why
i let that go.

and prayers became
a way of connecting
to the big forces -
the big real of what is.

and they were present
as songs
in my head
freely given
and filled with love
and gratitude
for the creation as a whole . . .


willow said...

"prayers were jobs once bedtime postures, words sent into the air
with pictures of people in my head"

My prayers have matured and changed as I've grown older, and hopefully wiser, too.

Beautiful post, Steven.

steven said...

willow you're up very early!!! thankyou for your kind words. have a lovely long day at the manor. steven

Golden West said...

Prayer is probably as different as people are - some pray for success and financial reward or fame, others for safety or health, others for peace or freedom and still others for wisdom or guidance. And some probably pray to win the lottery!

steven said...

hello golden west! that's interesting - i've never prayed to ask for something material but i know lots of people who do - especially children!!! gratitude, care, love would be about it for the content of my prayers. have a lovely day out there!!! steven

Anonymous said...

Those look like prayer flags. I don't think I ever saw leaves like that. You are amazing.

Golden West said...

Hi Steven, To answer your question, yes, I tried stand up paddling and thought it was a blast. The hardest part wasn't the balancing, it was the initial getting to my feet. Here's a link if you want to see a picture of that day. http://daughterofthegoldenwest.blogspot.com/2009/01/sweeping-clouds-away.html

I didn't mean to sound flippant about prayer. Mine are mostly about gratitude and healing, as well.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Steven: I so agree. I offer prayers of gratitude to the universe all the time - to the creative intelligence that created the order and wonder. It's been a very long time since I have directed appreciation or supplication to an old man figure in the sky.

So much to say on this subject, but I will leave it there. Thanks for a post that resonates deeply with me.

Dan Gurney said...

Wonderful post. My journey through prayers has been very similar to yours. Now I engage a lot in the 4 "Divine Abodes" (the Brahmaviharas): Loving Kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity. It occurred to me while reading your post that my Metta practice, as it is called, is my form of prayer.

Jenny Stevning said...

"Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven"-Rabindranath Tagore.

Never saw it that way!
Leafy branches are like prayer flags!!

staceyjwarner said...

i always say thank you for my blessings and ask that people are taken care of for their highest good, which might not have anything to do for my selfish desires...

much love

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely words and lovely autumn colours - make the most of them, they will be gone for another year before long. Have a nice evening, steven.

Reya Mellicker said...

This is so beautiful, Steven. YES, yes, it's so obvious I'm amazed I'd never thought about it before. They are definitely prayer flags, definitely.

Wow. You're so good. Thank you!

Pauline said...

Freeing, isn't it, to let go of what we "know" and let what is and what might be fill our imagination? I like that your prayers that once had jobs to do are now more a connection than a division.

Those leaves are the perfect accompaniment.

steven said...

hello reya - i'm happy that this brought you happiness also!! steven

steven said...

hello weaver - yes they're rapidly falling and blowing away and all around the little corners of the gardens and houses around me. have a lovely evening in the dale. steven

steven said...

well thanks abe - really it's the trees that are so amazing you know!!!! but thankyou. steven

steven said...

stacey j that's a really powerful good prayer to speak!!! thankyou. steven

steven said...

jenny stevning thankyou for the gorgeous tagore quote. i hope visitors here get a chance to read it alongside the posting. thanks so much for that!! steven

steven said...

hi dan. so lovely to see you here!!!! we travel circuitous paths with one destination. i think the quality with which you arrive is important. have a peaceful evening dan. steven

steven said...

hi bonnie - it's an interesting step that some people take and some don't. to move beyond the paternal god who is emotionally omnipotent to an understanding of the love that permeates the entirety of creation. a love that is exclusive of any quality beyond itself. thanks for your comment. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hi golden west - i didn't sense any flippancy in your comment. nope none!! i loved the link you gave me to a day i must have missed because there you are whistling across the ocean!!!!! yay!! steven

Friko said...

prayers... or words meaning something like..
I wish there were another word for prayer; 'prayer' still
has connotations of repression for me.
Help me find another word?

BT said...

What a beautiful poem steven. And the photos that accompany it are so 'Autumnal' they made me smile. I love the way your prayers have changed and now you celebrate joy and all the good things. What a fabulous place to have reached.

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Steven~ I really loved your changing perceptions of prayer--you've become almost zen-like now, where prayer comes from a place that is one with the One, meditative, intuitive. Have you seen those Tibetan prayer flags? I think they are literally to flag your prayers for the universe. I love the motion in your branches, the process of changing color, loosening, floating down. Beautiful. Love and light to you.