Thursday, November 29, 2007


I've learned something else about prayer. It's not like I didn't know this before, but I never wrote it down.

There is a tremendous amount of noise in my brain. Mostly demands of "shoulds" and important things I have to remember. Everywhere I look, the house and yard cry out for attention. There is always something lacking, something my eye tells me is out of symmetry. It needs cleaning, rearranging, weeding, cutting, feeding (pets), watering, vacuuming - you name it. Then, overlay that with thoughts of work, money, worry, health (there lots more "shoulds" THERE) - and my brain is a screaming cacophony - "how dare you sit down when THIS and THIS, ad infinitum, needs to be done??" Then there is fear, dread, anger, sadness - once again, you name it. A little frosting on the cake? Thoughts of my job, what I have to do there as well.....

Given all this, I cannot pray. Think about what prayer means - it means talking to and listening to God - who speaks silently and for the most part, to an attentive rather than a totally distracted, heart/brain.

I have to silence the brain.

This is the hardest thing for me to do. And keep it silenced and concentrated on the Lord, prayer.

It's not so much silencing as saying to all the demands and thoughts, "you can wait -be still for now." When I do this, or attempt to, there are rebellious "but's" that try to shout out and destroy any chance of quiet.

It is almost a physical effort, a la the cartoons where the character shakes his head vigorously to clear it, with the accompanying cartoon noise.

So what have I learned? That I must put aside, with great effort, the concerns, thoughts, responsibilities that crowd my brain. With an almost physical gesture, I must make a conscious decision to quiet the din in preparation for prayer.

Many times I've prayed over the din - but I never hear anything when I do that.

Also, I let my mind wander. Once I get it quiet, my thoughts try to sneak around, eventually to wake up the voices I just silenced.

So - Step 1 - Tell my brain to shut up. Make my self quiet.

Step 2 - Don't leave the brain alone. Concentrate on God. If I sit in my quiet backyard, I see evidence of God and His beauty all around me - that helps.

Step 3 - Try to be in a place that is conducive to concentration with minimal distractions.

To most people, I'm sure this is elementary, but for me, it has been a problem all my life. I find it ever so difficult to calm my mind and prepare to talk to God.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Inconsistent Me

I know I haven't written here regularly as I should. And a very thoughtful and caring lady has asked how my father is doing. She has her own blog+, which I have visited, but have not commented on in a long while. I go through periods where I post on my blog more often - and then I go through periods where I neglect it. I really dislike that I am so inconsistent and not more disciplined.

Anyway, my father is doing much better than he was. Perhaps the 24 hour care, the regimented food, that he really does like - I don't know. He is cognizant and able to converse, which, a month ago, he could not do at all. He just sat and would look at you momentarily if you spoke to him and then he'd gaze off and eventually fall asleep. I went up to visit 2 Saturdays ago and my mother and I rolled him out into the courtyard in his wheelchair. He doesn't have foot plates, so he must lift his feet up whenever he wants to move. He has no problem doing this, so his strength has improved. He isn't too talkative, but he comprehends and speaks in sentences, although a bit hesitating now and then, searching for a word. He said he was shocked at how he had "acted" previously - that just wasn't him. He made it sound like he had a choice, when he really hadn't had one. He was just sick, I guess - and now he is much better. He is doing so much better, in fact, they want to send him back home on November 30. He is thrilled about that, but I wonder what arrangements will be made for his care. I think the reason he was in the home to begin with is my mother couldn't care for him as he needed, and some health issue that needed to be addressed wasn't at home - so he became almost catatonic. Now, after a month in the home, he is almost back to his old self.

My mother, according to my sister (she didn't speak to me about this, but to my sister), went to confession (she is Catholic) and told the priest about many things. They had a good, long talk. She evidently came away from her talk with him deciding to "give it all to the Lord". So she is just taking one day at a time with this whole thing - and after all, that's how life is doled out anyway. I've tried to ask her a few times what might happen when dad comes back home, but she says she'll cross that bridge when she comes to it, and she also has confidence that there will be some sort of meeting between herself and the doctors to discuss his care before he is released. She is right - she has had one of these meetings already, so of course, they will not release him without direction to her.

In any case, Cathy S. - thank you so much for your solicitous question about my father.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hello There

I'm at work today and I just happened to be reading my usual group of blogs (during lunch, of course) and one of them has a friend whose cat died yesterday. He put a link at his site to her blog and when I read her post, I just cried and cried. I love my cat Squeebles the way she loved her Bentley - and I feel so sorry for her. If you read this post, perhaps you could stop by her site and extend some love and care her way. I can't go back there again because if I so much as think about her post I tear up. I look at the pictures of her kitty and I can see why she loved him so much - he reminds me of my Squee. If anything happened to him, I'd feel as she does.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dang It II

Well, we finally got issued a Tropical Storm Warning at 5AM this morning, which is USUALLY the impetus for schools and government offices to close. But not today. Sigh. I gotta go get dressed and drag my body to work anyway. It just ain't fair, I tells ya.