Broken Pot

Thoughts and occasional lights poured forth through the cracks of a broken pot

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weary

28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."   
Matthew 11:28-29

I guess you can say I've been weary.  Circumstances, you know.

What I hadn't realized before was how I could be a judgemental  SOB to my own weariness.  Perhaps it was fear of the unknown, or perhaps it was fear of public perceptions (if the empty ice cream isle could loosely be termed as 'public').  Whatever it was, I gave myself a good talking to whenever feelings managed to raise its ugly head.

I also found ways to place blame in not being a "good enough" christian to "rise above it", or for not wanting to rise out of anything (including my bed) sometimes.  Circumstances came and went, but I stayed in one spot, or a small circular pattern of eat, act and sleep.  A drug named "caffeine" took over me often like a current running through a tired old robot, propelling it to run through familiar old instructions and carry out familiar old routines. Crying spells would short circuit these routines from time to time, ruining tired old circuitry with moisture and rust.  The old drone would lay lifeless in a heap then for a time, until the next repair and recharge.

The concept of "resting in Christ" has sounded easier before all this, when there were less circumstantial ashes piled over me.  There seem to be a perpetual blindness that covered not only one's eyes but also the heart, so no light could reach -- inside or out.  It made me wonder if Cinderella's soot coverings were of the same nature, after her father's passing.  Could it be she had been grieving so severely that it simply covered her physically in grayness?  I was sure everyone could see it in me, just like I had been rolling in soot all day.  The minute I thought maybe they couldn't, that they'd forgotten, because maybe I'd forgotten, guilt would wrap around me like a rope and pull me back in swift tugs.

Looking back I can only say that God had provided me with rest and what I needed.  Grieving and depression had given me reprieve from the world which I would have never allowed myself.  My guilt was all of my own, as whenever I sought after Him I received assurance that the time was right for taking a break from things, even from "doing the right things".

So I have been weary.  Thanks for helping me accept it.




Monday, September 10, 2012

Prayer Room (Continued)

I guess that's what prayers are like, when I think about it.  It sits between heaven and earth, and in its own quiet yet moving ways, it brings us from where we are to where we ought to be.

While I wandered the hallways in anxiety and search of something magical, the doors to prayers remained closed to me.  They opened only when I searched for prayers, realizing my dependency and insufficiency despite of all efforts.  My exposed dependency helped me find this conduit to peace, a hidden garden and an expansive view to a familiar yet unknown world.

I laugh and cry in the light of freedom and love here.  I reflect and murmur into the echoing walls without fear of a reaction or response.  I make faces, I tap my toes, quietly, then boldly.  I walk towards the glass door that promises soft wind and gentle grazes of butterflies' wings, pushing pass doubts and further interruptions.

I open the door, and step into paradise, in mind, body and spirit.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Prayer Room

One reason I chose my university is because during my orientation walk, I came across a prayer room.

I did not know why at the time, but the modest brown sign of this nondescript room touched my heart.  The room's interior was a complete mystery to me as the doors was closed at the time and I did not have time to stop and inquire further.  Somehow this added to the appeal, I imagined a quiet sanctuary able to block out the world upon my demand.  I imagined saintly prayers and wise counsels happening just behind the solemn mahogany doors. I wanted a piece of that, as badly as I wanted anything else the university had to offer.

My first few weeks at the school went by in a drunken (-- on the part of my mates) and confused (--on my part) blur.  Had I made a bad choice, I found myself question things often.  I passed by the prayer room a few times, and found the doors shut and myself in such a rush that I couldn't stop and inquire, as in my previous visits.

Classes and studies went on reasonably well soon after the excitements and uncertainties of the initial weeks passed.  I found myself wandering in the halls alone one day, just before an accounting exam.  I had studied but suffered from a bad case of butterflies in the stomach nonetheless.  So finding the prayer room open then was like hearing an answered prayer; I stepped in eager to look around.

It disappointed me at first.  As far as rooms went, it could not have been simpler.  Besides a few oak benches lining the two sides of the room. there were no other furnishings.  No wise man dispensing advise either, it was empty but for the sounds and the view. 

It was a magnificent view.  The entire back wall is made of glass so I can see the garden outside. An infinity pool floats among the stone steps, grassy areas and flowering trees.  The flowers resembled flames, in bright orange and yellow layers and bunches, lighting up an otherwise green and gray world.  The noise from the halls, clunking doors, chattering students, and clacking stilettos came through here, became magnified in the hallow acoustics of the prayer room and all the more sharp and piercing against the quiet of the garden. 

Yet time stood still as I sat,  reflecting on the heavenly beauty and serenity on one side of me, and the harsh reality of the cluttered world on the other.   The garden wasn't without any movement or sound.  Two butterflies danced among the leaves of the samosas, and a bird flew into the Chinese lantern bush.  Soft breezes flirted with pedals and caressed the surface of the pool into gentle ripples.  They put away the butterflies and the ripples inside of me,  and allowed my mind to settle and fixate on God, as I fixated on His creations.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Moment

I stepped out onto the patio this morning and a feeling stopped me.  An invisible rain, or mist greeted me with wet kisses. My arms tingled.   A choir of birds sang, first in unison then separately, variations of the same theme, yet symphonic in their organic compositions.  Traffic sounded hush, hurried yet remote, adding drum beats to the foreground music.  

I had just showered but my hair had not been combed as I needed to get to my prayers and quiet time before the boy got up.  So a tangled wet mass piled atop me, branding me a mother and a women with much goings-on and one who rarely got it all together.  But the prayers rambling in my head (the give-me-this-and-that prayers) quieted as I looked around with amazement.  My pulse would have slowed if that were possible.  I tried to remember all I wanted to ask for, as I had a feeling God was not just with me but also listening.  Yet the only thought that could manifest at that important moment was:  Thank you.   What a wonderful life.  

The birds sang louder, and the mandevillias blushed a deeper red.  The sound of traffic had all but hushed to a halt and I held my breath, as I could nearly see Him smile through that invisible yet tingling mist.  

I rushed inside, to write down the feeling of this moment, of pure joy and thanksgiving.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Outburst

I kept telling myself I wouldn't cry.  It lasted a while longer than I thought.

But as I walked out of the sanctuary and into the sunny courtyard, facing two friends who came up and said: "how are you?"  I suddenly wasn't myself anymore.  Tears took over me and my voice, I couldn't tell anyone what exactly the matter was.

A lump I didn't know existed was disintegrating as hot tears rolled out of me.  It defied reasoning as things hadn't changed, for better or worse.

Tears of weakness, of losing control, made me feel stronger, once let out.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Every Kind of Flower

It was teacher's appreciation day, in fact, the last day of a week's appreciation.  This morning, every child was to bring a flower or fruit to his or her teacher.

I arrived ten minutes early at the school yard to help collect the flowers into a vase.  Several room parents are already there.  Big bunches fresh flowers lay before them, and they had several large vases, pruning shears and helpers.  What's more, students were arriving by the minute bringing more and more flowers to add onto their piles.

I looked around my child's class.  There were no students arriving and the table was empty.  I sat down and waited.

As the morning grew hotter and brighter, the school yard grew crowded, my anxiety rose.

Finally I recognized Cade carrying an empty vase. Although I hardly knew all the kids in the class, I knew this was for me. I gratefully accepted the vase and a lone rose wilting on the stem brought by a second child.   I looked around for sources of water but found none.

The wait was more painful once I had a vase and placed a single flower in it.  It was plain then that I was in fact "trying" to collect flowers for a teacher.   I tentatively walked up to one of the parent standing behind dozens of blooming profusions.

"Do you know if there is water anywhere?"

We chatted a bit, they were perfectly polite but they smirked when they saw my vase.  They offered nothing else after that.

The bell rang.  This signals the time for children to assemble and go into the classroom, and the fact my time was running out.  I had added a second stem - a bird of paradise -- into my vase as a child walked up to me.   My stomach felt sick.

Just then I recognized Emma, a cute and polished looking girl who's been classmates with my boy for several years now.  She carried a decent looking bouquet and smiled at me. I smiled back and eagerly confirmed if her flower was for my teacher.  They were!

I rushed to plunge her flowers into my vase. Just then, children rushed toward me to ask if I was collecting flowers for their teacher.  They brought all kinds of flower, each sad and lonely looking  on their own, but once placed into the vase together, we had the symphony of spring in our hands.  We walked into the classroom together, by then I was unable to accommodate all the flowers in that once vast looking vase.

The teacher smiled when she saw us.  She had started opening her cupboards to locate two large vases. Students rushed forward to put their flowers inside, and everyone smiled and greeted each other warmly.   I presented mine, amazed at the amount of flowers still pouring forth, evidently more than even the three vases can contain.

Earlier this morning, I had looked at life like I looked at the empty vase I held in my hand. I couldn't see pass the emptiness and all the waiting around I had to do. I couldn't see all the bouquets waiting just around the corner for me to collect.  I sat around sad and downcast, not trusting the goodness that was already well in the works and their way to find me.

I am glad I waited, however grudgingly, and didn't abandon my post.  The day would have went on fine either way but my day and my outlook changed, when I held fast.





Monday, April 16, 2012

Rain - I

I felt weepy and tired all day. Nothing quite caught my interest and the world around felt the same about me, I suspected.  I wasn't quite sick, but actual illness could have brought some sort of relief - a clarity or an explanation of some sort, for the drippy sank feeling that weighed on me inside.

The sky finally cooperated.  It had been a chilly, gray and still morning. In the afternoon, wind picked up, and whipped around branches like mad rockers shaking out their wild hair dos.  Air boiled over with sounds of tress slapping against roofs and clouds pushed so close together they seemed bursting at the seams.

The storm gathered beneath all the commotion, first quietly, then barring its teeth in thunders of warning, and flickered its eyes in lightenings of menace.   Between winds of change, shadows moved against any remaining space of light and stole away last few pockets of innocence and blue.  The sky was left covered in leaden streaks of regrets.

Fat drops of rain finally dumped down on roofs and ran through gutters, making music with offbeat rhythms and tunes.  I turned over to look at the clock, it was late afternoon, I should be finished with my chores by now but I had barely gotten started.  Where had the time gone?  I tried not to think about how that question made me feel, like I tried not to think about how the walls was closing in on me, and the ceiling seemed to be kissing the floor, with me in between.

The phone rang.  More like a churp, the sound of a text, cheerful, like its sender.  It was my friend TR.