I read “God in the Yard” by l. l. barkat. I move through the pages at a slow, sporadic pace, doing the exercises, learning to play and be a child once again, with God, no less. I am in the third week, page 27. One exercise is called “Unstring”. She says, “Picture certain issues/emotions/elements of your personal psychology to be like a cord that binds you. Can you feel them cutting in? Do you wish the ties could be loosened? As a kind of prayer, invite the Spirit to begin unwinding the invisible cords; to feel the hope of this, act out unwinding with your body. If you prefer, draw a picture of yourself and what binds you, then draw a series of pictures that illustrate the ties coming undone.”
So I did that. It looked something like this:
On my own drawing, I had words on the lines such as:
emotionally hurt by words
caregiving for 13 years
I asked the Holy Spirit to unwind the tight cords that bind me, those old tapes in my head that take away my freedom to twirl in the wind, to breathe deeply. Much lies behind the words, behind that tight cord. How can I play when the seriousness of life is weighing me down?
Mom was angry last night. I am grateful that this mood is not often, but when it is there, I struggle. I do not like anger, rarely being angry myself. Mom uses some foul language when she is angry. Oh, how that runs like fingernails on the chalkboard with me, with my ways. I leave my visit and I am down, worn out, in no mood to play. I allow this dementia-caused anger to tie me up in a knot. There is nothing, NOTHING, I can do about it, nor can she. So why am I taking it on myself, I ask?
From the spiral drawing right column, you can see the things that are eating me from inside my own self. The old tapes play. I put my hands over my ears so I don’t have to hear any of this. But it doesn’t help because it’s coming from inside.
Quote from l. l. barkat’s book, “God in the Yard, Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us”, 2010
Picture/Drawing: “squiggle1.gif” @ www2.asd.wednet.edu
Photo of Rocking Chair: “Rocking Chair 2”
Some rights reserved by CMMahon, 12/07/2006, Christina M. Mahon, flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmahon/