Now, Self, Alone, God

Francesca De Grandis, 2012 This is all brush dipped into Pearl Ex and guar gum mixed with water. The pic does not show how the Pearl Ex makes the letters glimmer.

Now, Self, Alone, God
January 15, 2012

My life has become very primitive. Here, where I live now. I have left the sunny angst of California and its intellectual dilemmas. Here the snow winter shuts me in, without vitamin D, I have not left the house for days. I am ruled by the seasons, they are no longer just inspiration for poesy and ritual. Will J be able to drive in this weather to pick up my food for me?

My life has become primitive. I need, I always need, someone to wash my dishes and pots so that I can prepare food. Many of the things I need for survival I cannot do. It is ongoing, my life is asking someone to help, scheduling when they can help. Can someone help today? I need to find someone to help today.

I am not complaining. I am not “whining,” I am mourning losses, I am sad about my present circumstances, and sitting with God, who listens, holds me in my sorrow. My beautiful skin once lit from within—a Sicilian heritage, nurtured by homemade facials that my disabilities rarely allow anymore—is now dry, dull, rough, made so by this place’s hard water and rough weather, and by age and illness, and worry about money and survival.

I wrote this simple liturgy/poem/ritual/technique/… a while ago, for my personal meditations. After using it a lot, I wanted new ways to find its depth, so explored it with calligraphy. That helped further internalize the lesson I am trying to give myself. Speaking of which, I integrate my visual art with the rest of my life, so thus far I’ve only a few out ‘n’ out gallery posts. If you want to see more of my art, browse my blog. This piece was done with brushes and various colored inks, except for the purple, which was brush dipped into Pearl Ex and guar gum mixed with water. Francesca De Grandis, 2012

I wrote this simple liturgy/poem/ritual/technique/… a while ago, for my personal meditations. After using it a lot, I wanted new ways to find its depth, so explored it with calligraphy. That helped further internalize the lesson I am trying to give myself. Speaking of which, I integrate my visual art with the rest of my life, so thus far I’ve only a few out ‘n’ out gallery posts. If you want to see more of my art, browse my blog. This piece was done with brushes and various colored inks, except for the purple, which was brush dipped into Pearl Ex and guar gum mixed with water. Francesca De Grandis, 2012

In this life of constant survival concerns and powerlessness, God is my beauty. I am filled with divine blessings and childlike wonder. These are gifts, freely given me, through no merit of my own. But I do work for them. If we give way to the deception that there is no time for spiritual practices when life is brutal, we have lost sight. The crux (or a crux) of spirituality is that we cleave to it no matter what. Easier said than done, but a truth nonetheless. It is vital that I try my best to cleave, even if sometimes the best I can do is an on-again off-again, and faltering.

Our country was traumatized by the bombing of the twin towers. It is known that when a child suffers a great tragedy, the child does fine if given parental support. And gets far worse if further traumatized by parents – or other caretakers – who either do not support the child through their suffering, or “kick ’em while they’re down.” When we, as a country, suffered the tragedy of the bombing, our government grabbed hold of our already terrified throats. They made us line up in airports, stripping us of our rights, insisting, “You are scared yes, good, be scared be scared be scared, we are taking away your rights, we do this to help you.” It was like a parent saying, “We do this for your own good!” as he punches a child who was already beaten up by schoolmates.

We as a people (or at least many of us) are still reeling from the government’s abuse, and from our daily scramble – which they helped induce – to pay bills, survive, avoid homelessness. One way we still buy the government’s message “Be scared be scared,” hook, line, and sinker, is to believe we have no time for either spiritual practices or spiritual lessons. We’ve been deceived into thinking that there must be nothing but our brutalized day-to-day scramble, that survival takes all. I am not denying the harsh realities that many of us live in nor the reality of that scramble to feed our children. But we have been lied to, convinced survival is an excuse to forsake our spirits, as if working to keep our spirits whole no matter what has not always been a core human and spiritual concern, as if our current excuse to focus only on survival is different from past excuses in human history.

And, when I tend spirit, my scramble lessens. And, because I am tending spirit, bit by bit terror is leaving.

Beauty fills my day, my crippled body, my worried heart. God is that beauty, gives that beauty, shows my beauty, holds my beauty.

God, help me continue my spiritual practices, continue receiving spiritual lessons, keep growing so I can meet the problems of this primitive life. Help me continue to help others find your beauty, find their own beauty, because unless I do so, I cannot have beauty myself.
———–
If you enjoyed the thoughts above, I share in-depth about my life as a mystic, shaman, and just plain ol’ human being in Share My Insanity , available on Amazon.

This entry was posted in Art, Writing, and Music, Community, Spirit, The Whole Thing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Now, Self, Alone, God

  1. ellen says:

    Oh! and by the way, I will be attending the Wed, Feb 1 Global Ritual. See you then!

  2. ellen says:

    I love you, Francesca. xoxo, ellen 🙂

  3. Sandra says:

    ~* I’m so glad you keep writing and writing . Thank you for sharing you, and for more precious liturgy.

    • francesca says:

      Aw, Sandra, thank you, that touches my heart, means a lot to me. I have the best students in the whole world, they are peers who walk shoulder to shoulder with me. I know I have said that before, but it cannot be said enough.

  4. thomas byrnes / Chicot le Fou says:

    Simply beautiful .

  5. Julia Swancy says:

    I feel that way about my skin, that it used to be pretty and isn’t now, it’s dull, worn. fwiw, I think your skin is beautiful, and still very much lit from within! great post!

    • francesca says:

      I am so glad you like it. As I said to Jenn, it is so personal that I felt vulnerable posting it. Thanks also re my skin. So, if my skin is still nice, maye yrs is too, hah hah!

  6. This is a beautiful post Francesca. Thank you for sharing them, as always.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.