What is lifted rises

November 5, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments

The horrific news of recent weeks feels impossible to bear. Like many others, I have cried, raged, railed, lamented, sought community and sat in desolate silence. This week’s elections may bring what some will call victory, but no matter which winners are declared, we will remain a country dangerously divided. It is important to ask how we will go on.

Prayers alone are not enough. But prayers lived out may be the only way to lift us from despair. Prayers embodied, enacted, offered up to the winds of each day, until we ourselves may feel as tattered, and necessary, as prayer flags that have rounded the seasons, weathered the storms, faded in the heat of the sun, still with something to offer — an ever-loosening weave of hope and resistance moving in the wind.

For these days, I offer you this prayerful poem:

What is lifted rises

Every day settles heavily
on my shoulders,
as my fears gain
the heft of the news.

Still, I know,
it is not the weight
of the world that will
have the last say,

But the songs
and the stories.
What we bring, what
we give, what we allow

to be lifted
and carried—breaking free
of the chains
of the day.

Beneath my bowed
shoulders stirs
this heartful of hopes,
tested and tattered

as prayer flags—no matter
how faded—still
offering their prayers
to the wind.

Karen Hering

What wish is imprinted in your heart so clearly that you will offer it up to the weathering winds of our times, bring it out into the light of day and the dark of night, into the rain and the sunlight alike, into the changing seasons, which is to say, into the tests of time — that its hope might be carried like a seed to another time and place where it will take root and grow? This is not a theoretical question. Write your wish down. Speak it out loud. Live it in the world every day. Post it below so that we too can see your prayer and work toward it.

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