Friday, April 30, 2010

My First Prayer



I begin this thing called Prayer.

Immediately there is nothing.
And everything.

Glory fills the crevices between each muscle, each bone, each vein.
Bubble of life continue to spring, seemingly from nowhere.

And what am I to say?
What is prayer?

Every cell in my body becomes alive.
My breath quietens and thickens.
Pressure rests on my forehead
And still, my mind is quiet.

There seems nothing to say
Apart from praise.
Words, much used,
Spring to mind. Glory.
Blessed. Life. Love.

Praise of Life
Gives way to gratitude.

Noticing the life swimming in my veins,
Swimming in the veins of the world,
I want to thank Life itself, for Life.

And then, quickly, on gratitude’s  heels,
Comes the wish that all may feel, may perceive
May experience this blessed love for Life,
For Creation, for the unnamed and unnameable.

And my first Prayer fades into the moment
With a sweetness of remembered perfume.


Photo: Tiffany Jones (Thailand)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

May 2010 - The Way of St James


The Way of St James/Camino de Santiago

Departure for the Camino de Santiago: We leave on the 1st of May, and are back in Granollers on the 26th of May 2010

Our Route


For a larger version of this map, click this link.   We're starting from Lagrono. Its the most famous of all of the routes, otherwise called 'The French Way'

Back packs: We have two back packs, and they will be filled with the bare essentials. We are travelling with only one change of cloths. I won’t even take any make-up! Imagine. I did think about taking two pairs of shoes, so I could swap them during the day and hopefully avoid some of the foot problems others have expressed, but I changed my mind and decided to put up with what ever discomfort was coming my way.

Basic Information: One of the best links explaining about the Way of St James is from the Santiago de Compostela Website.  It holds most of what you’ll need to know about the trip.

What about Jett?: We were going to take the trip in July when Jett (my ten year old) would be in Norway with father, however, we discovered that this year was an important year for The Walk. St James day (July 25th) falls on a Sunday, and its considered a Holy Year.  The next Holy Year won’t be for another 11 years.

Considering authorities expect about 200 000 visitors this year, we decided to leave during May. We’ve been very fortunate in having Jett’s Norwegian Grandparents come to stay with him for half the time, and his Spanish grandparents to take care of him the second half of the time. Its an exciting time for all of us.  

Personal Reasons for the Pilgrimage: On a basic level, I’ve wanted to walk and walk and walk and not turn back, for a long time. I guess it started when I was a child and packed up a small back and thought the enormous thought of ‘if I just took my bag, and kept walking, what would happen?’

In some ways, its an escape from the day to day demands.

In some ways, it fulfils a deep yearning to be in constant connection with the earth under my feet. To watch the landscape slowly undulate before my eyes.

Somebody said that we were crazy spending our holidays of the year ‘doing something’ rather than just having a ‘nice time’.  Well. I guess ‘nice’ is relative.

I first hear of the Way of St James about two years ago. It was a program on the TV. It looked really interesting, and I turned to Albert and said ‘we should do that one day’.   I didn’t expect the ‘one day’ to be so soon, but, for some reason or other, we have put Egypt, Morocco, Canada and Mexico on hold and have decided to traverse the Way.

In the past two weeks, I’ve been inundated with images of stars, crosses and solar circles. I see them in my dreams, I see them walking down the street, and today, I read for the first time, that the name of the place we are going to ‘Santiago de Compostela’ actually means:

"Folk etymology for the name "Compostela" is that it comes from the Latin "Campus Stellae" (i.e., Field of Stars), but it is unlikely such a phonetic evolution takes account of normal evolution from Latin to Galician-Portuguese. A more probable etymology relates the word with Latin "compositum", and local Vulgar Latin "Composita Tella", meaning "burial ground" as a euphemism. Many other places through Galicia share this toponym (with identical sense) and there even exists a "Compostilla" in the León province."  Wiki quote, but verified on several other prominent websites 

However, by all accounts, the pre Christian route to the Atlantic was dubbed ‘the Milky Way’, and follows a path to the ‘end of the world’.  Finisterrae (literally the end of the world or Land's End in Latin)

At the end of the world, or when meeting the ‘dying city of Atlantis’ (Atlantic Ocean), one sees a great ocean of lost souls. In a way, the stars leading to the end of the world and a great burial mound is all kind of linked up anyway.

I’m connected to Ishtar, Inanna and Asherah – Goddess of old who seem to be calling people from all across the world, and their symbols have been found along the pilgrims path. Stars within circles and scallop shells. 

What ever the case, what ever symbols or stories resonate for you, I’m sure we’re going to have a wonder filled trip, blisters and all.


If you are interested in seeing some of the photos along the way (posted via mobile) take a look at my Life in Catalunya blog.  Have a great May everyone - and see/hear from you when we get back. 


Photo: Albert Vila

Rabbi Rami Shapiro - Q&A at 59

I read this today, and I think its well worth passing on. The link to Rabbi Rami's blog is in the title - 



Q & A at 59


I turned 59 this past Monday. By coincidence (if you believe in coincidence) I received an email from a student who needed to interview a clergy person for a final class paper. He had come across me somewhere and thought I might fit the bill. I thought you might like to read our brief exchange.


What has been your primary goal since becoming a rabbi?


I entered seminary to find God and change religion. I believed and still believe that God is the source and substance of all reality. God is not a being or supreme being, but be-ing itself. To realize God is to realize our connection with and responsibility toward all life. The more you know God the more you become a vehicle for compassion and justice. I wanted to know this God and to make Judaism a means for knowing this and becoming this vehicle.

Did you do it?


I continue to know God, but to change Judaism—no. At this I have failed, and my rabbinate is a failure.

Does it bother you to have wasted your life in this way?


I said I was a failure not that I have wasted my life. To fail means that I first had to try. To waste a life is never to bother living it in the first place. I lived. I continue to live, and I continue to do the only thing I know how to do: I write, and I talk. I write and talk to change minds and hearts and institutions. Perhaps I have changed some minds and heats, but the institution is the same. Failure, yes. Life waster, no.

If you had succeeded in changing the institution what would it look like?


There is no one way to be Jewish even as I envision Judaism. But I would say we would root Judaism in two principles: teshuvah and tikkun: returning to our true nature as God (teshuvah) and repairing the world with godliness (tikkun). This places compassion and justice at the heart of Judaism. Jews would choose which traditions to follow or amend or invent based on a single question: will this make me more just and compassionate? If the answer is yes, then the tradition demands your loyalty. If the answer is no, then it makes no demands on you at all. Every Jew and every synagogue would be unique, but all would be responding to this question. What would unite us would not be shared answers, but a shared question.

If you have failed, what will you do now?


The only thing I know how to do: write and talk.

And if you continue to fail?


I fully expect to fail. But better to fail than not to act.

Doesn’t it ever occur to you to quit?


Of course. Everyday I sit and read newspapers and websites, and watch the news on television, and I think for a moment about abandoning the madness that is religion. Then my anger and frustration translate into yet another book or talk and I go on. I have no idea why this happens, but I cannot ignore it when it does.

You do a lot with interfaith work. Is this more promising that working within one religion?


No. My work in interfaith is to suggest that religions are like the blind men and the elephant: each has a piece of the puzzle but none knows it as a whole. While I admire those who work toward interreligious understanding and peace, I am not among them. I study and teach religion to reveal the existential heart of religion: the realization that we are mortal. Then I focus on those teachers and teachings that help us live with dying, rather than those who promise us some way to escape from dying: Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas, Buddha before he was made into a god, Ramana Maharshi, Hillel, Rumi, Ramakrishna, Martin Buber, Paul Tillich, Erich Fromm, Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts, Krishnamurti, Toni Packer, to name a few off the top of my head.

Do you write and talk differently now than, say, 25 years ago?


Yes, I write and talk more fiercely. I have less patience for niceties and political correctness. I used to care about what other’s thought of what I wrote and said. And while I still notice this, it no longer shapes my writing or my speaking.

I read once that you say rabbis have a choice between being prophets or clerks, and that most are clerks. Which are you?


I didn’t say that, I was quoting someone else. But I do believe it. Which am I? Only others can say; and only after I’m dead. Hopefully you will be around to ask those who survive me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Power of Healing Prayer through the Chi Ball.

Below is a video of an exercise very popular in Qi Gong training. The Chi Ball.

The video talks about the physical composition of the exercise, and how a beginner would put their mind into training.

But there is another level of concentration for those of us that have mastered this physical stage. And that is visualisation.

The chi ball, when you start with qigong, is an easy way to 'feel' something begin to glow in the hands. Many students say that while practising this exercise, they have felt their first conscious awareness of chi.

Let's understand what we are talking about.

What is chi? It is the universal energy. But what is 'energy'- it is the animating force behind life itself. You know, you are trying to get in touch with 'God', or with Divine Consciousness. Don't be afraid of the terms. Chi is Grace. Chi is, ultimately, the Divine Force of Creation. So, let's not kid ourselves with 'playing with chi'.

At this stage, when your mind focuses on the ball of grace between your hands, you are visualising a globe. This exercises turns into a healing prayer for the world. You stand upon the ground, and you use the heart and the grace flowing through your body and you visualise the earth within your hands.

And you hold the image of yourself giving love, healing and protection to the earth. You are being a channel for Grace to enter through you, you are becoming a conscious and aware vessel for the divine.

The Power of Healing Prayer through the Chi Ball.


Black and Gold


I was laying afloat black tar,
My face unaware of darkness.

I looked only upwards,
Trance like, towards You.

Some years past,
While I stared,
Content.

And then She softened,
And the tar became thick
And while I floated yet
I felt myself sinking.

But I trusted You,
I kept my eyes for You only,
And while a sunk further,
And confusion set in,
And I lay on the floor
In an ocean of body fluids,
Finally I had to admit
I was dying to You.

I found myself lost in the vortex
Of blackness, sinking and centred.

And a tugging, restless pulsation
Begging for recognition.
It was Her. It was another form.

And it sat in my heart,
While my head broke into two.
How, why, what, how, and

Finally,
When there was only madness
Or surrender in store,
there was just
You.

The black, in the pulse of
Surrender
Turned into liquid gold.

And instead of thick tar
In my hair and under my nails
There was a glistening golden ocean
I was bathing in, and I drank.

I drank until I didn’t know where You
Were and where I began, and again
We were united, for a moment
Within the chalice of my Heart.




Human Being




Not Christian or Jew or
Muslim, not Hindu,
Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen.
Not any religion

or cultural system. I am
not from the east
or the west, not
out of the ocean or up

from the ground, not
natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all.
I do not exist,

am not an entity in this
world or the next,
did not descend from
Adam and Eve or any

origin story. My place is
the placeless, a trace
of the traceless.
Neither body or soul.

I belong to the beloved,
have seen the two
worlds as one and
that one
call to and know,

first, last, outer, inner,
only that breath breathing

human being.


sufi mystic - jelaluddin rumi - 13th century

Photo: Albert Vila 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Symbolism of St Jordi.


Before we begin, we need to understand that there are quite a number of stories surrounding St George, Sant Jordi and what ever other name he is known by. I am living in Catalonia, so, from here on in, he will be known as Sant Jordi.

Most of us know that Sant Jordi drew a sword and killed a dragon, thus saving a fair maiden, or princess. In some of the stories, a rose arises from the blood dripping from the knife. Ohhh, the symbolism in this moment is too good to be true.


The dragon, or the snake,  is a rich symbol of darkness, caves, the occult knowledge and the feminine. It is a prevalent symbol in many cultures denoting good luck, good fortune, protection and the mysterious ‘other’.

Sant Jordi is portrayed as a white male upon a white steed. He represents the male principle,  authority and the power of the father. He is ‘right’, he is law and he holds the sword of righteousness.

I must admit, I’ve always disliked St Jordi killing the dragon, but after reading the Catalan version, where a red rose arises from the blood of the dragon, things have taken on a different turn of events for me.

The sword is the sword of God. The Biblical sword of Our Father in Heaven. The dragon is the symbol of the Great Mother, and indeed, the Church condemned and slaughtered much of the female power in the last 2 000 years – however, taking it a step further – if we see that the sword (the male) enters into the dragon (the female) and from this coupling, there is juice split upon the ground, and a rose is formed - !! well, the rose is Love. More, the rose is a symbol of perfection. It is the Western equivalent of the Eastern Lotus and represents more than I can write in this evening. Let’s just say, it represents enlightenment and spiritual perfection.

A friend of mine joined a group today that called the Bible ‘science fiction’. Well, let’s say we read the Bible, we read all sacred texts, through the eyes of archetypes, through the eyes of symbolism and not so literally, and we come closer to the mystical truths held in these wonderful and sacred books from all traditions.

Here, in Catalonia, they celebrate the story of a knight protecting a princess, but for me, its much more. Here, they celebrate the divine marriage of Shiva and his consort Shakti, they celebrate Asherah and El and the Tao with its integration of yin and yang.


(edit)

And! It seems with further information there is more to be added about Catalonia and the rose. (Thanks for the tip B.) Sant Jordi is on the 23rd of April. The Virgin of Montserrat's day is the 27th of April. A famous hymn to the black virgin calls her 'April rose, dusky lady of the mountain chain'. 

The Black Virgin and Sant Jordi are the two great patrons of Catalonia, and their close proximity of date and imagery have linked the two days inextricably in the Catalan people's minds. The red rose itself, along with Sant Jordi on his white horse wielding a sword, and the Black Virgin holding baby Jesus are three of the most prevalent images of Catalonia. 

The male, the female and the rose - they symbol of perfection. Remember, the unity of female and male, although taken literally by many sex cults, is actually the unity of the known and unknown within each human being. The embracing of opposites within the self that leads to the flood of Spirit called Enlightenment.

For more information about the divine feminine in Western Religion, there is a beautiful book about the Divine Feminine in Hebrew Scripture and Biblical Literature written by Rabbi Rami Shapiro. 


An excellent on-line article about Fundamental Symbols is can be found here

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Black ink descended into my brain
And spread its weight through my veins.

Heavy, heavier than thoughts,
heavy, heavier than light.
Heavy as darkness.

And although I move slower,
The world spins,
The high heels click on the pavement,
The men turn their heads for curves and hair,
The children cry for ‘I want’
And I’ve slowed down with Her weight.

Moving in slow motion, though electrified.

I recall the light, when He flashed in,
And when She answered, using me as Their
Meeting ground – I was All, but spent.

Hold, they commanded. Hold your form,
It was for this you were born.

And the Heart, this centre, expands and contracts
And waits upon Their every whim.

And I laugh. What else is there to do?


Photo: Albert Vila

Words of Solomon - Rami Shapiro


When you are deluded by the illusion of permanence,
you become trapped in the pursuit of profit.
Profit for the body - wealth.
Profit for the mind - knowledge.
Profit for the soul - eternal life.
Vanity and foolishness!
Profit requires permanence, and there is no permanence.
Therefore, there is no profit, and the pursuit of profit yields only suffering.


You suffer because you hunger for permanence
and there is only impermanence.
One generation arising from he dust of another,
only to collapse itself in the heap of history.
Even the earth is passing away;
its permanence is an illusion - it passes more slowly than you,
and you mistake its slow death for eternity.
Eternity is not the infinite stretching of time, but the ending of time.


When you see the emptiness of things, you see the emptiness of time.
When you see the emptiness of time, you are free from eternity.
When you are free from eternity, you no longer pursue permanence.
When you no longer pursue permanence, you no longer harvest anxiety.
When you no longer harvest anxiety, you reap tranquillity.
Cycles, endless rounds, countless turnings-
such is this world under the sun,
your world of imagined separateness and permanence.


The sun climbs eagerly through the sky only to tumble into darkness.
It crawls through the night and returns to the climb only to fall once more.
The wind blows south, then north;
round upon round of endless spinning.
Rivers pour tirelessly into the sea, and yet the sea is never full.
There is no purpose to it.
Sun, wind, river act according to their nature;
they do what they do because of what they are.
Only you insist upon meaning and purpose.
For you the Way is not enough; for you it must be a Way To when in fact is is only the Way Of.


Your passion for purpose traps you in the pursuit of permanence.
Your hunger for meaning blinds you to the simple beauty of the turnings.
There is no tranquillity in the Way To;
yet the Way Of is peace itself.


~ Rami Shapiro

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bitten Third Eye


My third eye was bitten
As I walked down the centre of town,
Watching the girls in uncomfortable shoes
Holding their bags of image and labels,
The old men caught in yesterday’s news,
The worker fighting for recognition,
The mother racing to be on time and better
Than ‘good enough’.

The skin rose red above my third eye
As I walked towards the café,
Watching the teenagers caught in
The tangle of hormones and gratification,
The insecurities bright over their newly
Formed bones and stretched skin,
The women, the women the women
In too tight clothing, thinking that holding
Youth by the tail they will somehow
Hold onto love, prestige and self worth.

My third eye glowed red, bitten and swollen
As I sat and waited for my coffee with milk,
Watching the ideas walk past me,
Watching my ideas float through me,
Watching how they did not settle,
But burned the surface only.

Photo: Tiffany Jones

Do What I Say



The other day, we were at a picnic. We were part of a large group that I had not met before.

After lunch, one of the women I didn't know, approached Jett, our ten year old son, and said 'Throw this ball at that girl's head.'  'That girl' was deep in conversation with another group and had her head turned away from us.

Jett said 'No.' The woman said 'yes, yes, throw the ball at her.' and she laughed like it was going to be a really fun joke.

At this stage, the girl the ball was aimed at turned around and said 'please don't do that. That's so stupid' or something to this effect, and turned back to her conversation.

Now, Jett had the ball in his hand, and was not sure if he should or shouldn't throw the ball. Then, with a little more encouragement, he started to aim the ball at the other girl's head, at which point I intervened, as is a mother's privilege.

Now, I know this is a small example, but for me, it was symbolic of so many of these situations in life, when we are encouraged to do something we know is wrong, and because we feel social or authoritarian pressure, we go against our better judgement. That better judgement is 'do unto others what you would have done unto you'. Its a universal code of law, built into most of us at some level of awareness.

When we go against this, we go against ourselves.

That moment, when our better judgement is overthrown for approval or acceptance of 'others' is the moment we give up our personal choice and become 'victims'.  Victims to the invisible 'them'. Sometimes we don't realise the power of one. One person to stand against the crowd. Do you remember the story of Rosa Parks sitting in the white section of the bus way back in 1955?  It's a remarkable story of the one person's actions turning the tide of the oppression of 'them'.

Every day, in small ways, we need to gather our courage and be the person we really want to be, and not fall victim to our ideas of what other people want for us. Be true to ourselves and build our self esteem on small acts of kindness towards ourselves.

I liked this happening to Jett. It gave us an opportunity to talk about doing the 'right' thing, or doing the thing the 'others' want us to do. Run it through your internal system. Would I like that done to me? Is what I'm doing OK on all levels of my heart and mind? If  Yes, then continue.

Photo: Tiffany Jones

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Between Us


Pausing in the moment between breaths
I look up to see you looking at me
And it is like light, shimmering between us
It is like liquid sameness, you and I
And we know that we are one.

And I breathe in  and I see your ideas and beliefs
Rise to the mind like a defence,
And you see that I have breasts, and curves
And you see that I am not your colour
And you know that I am different.

And then I pause, between breaths,
And I feel the light moving between us
And I know, the fullness of expression
Through the love of the moment
The dancing light underneath form.

And I breathe out and you smile
And I avert my eyes, for fear
That your idea of me will creep in
Between us. 

Photo: Tiffany Jones

What if?


What if I told you, that every step you took, you stepped into God?

What if I told you, that every breath you took, you were breathing God?

What would you say, if I told you, that every person you met, was God?

What would you say, if I told you, that you were God?

God is beyond judgements of 'right' and 'wrong'.
God is beyond the thick layer of fog between our hearts and minds.
God is All.  All is God.


And what if I told you, shhh, don't tell anyone. Its a secret. Could you keep it?

Photos: Tiffany Jones

Prayer of Love




If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love,
I have become sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and
all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.

And if I dole out all my goods, and
if I deliver my body that I may boast
but have not love, nothing I am profited.

Love is long suffering,
love is kind,
it is not jealous,
love does not boast,
it is not inflated.

It is not discourteous,
it is not selfish,
it is not irritable,
it does not enumerate the evil.

It does not rejoice over the wrong,
but rejoices in the truth

It covers all things, it has faith for all things,
it hopes in all things, it endures in all things.

Love never falls in ruins;
but whether prophecies, they will be abolished; or
tongues, they will cease; or
knowledge, it will be superseded.

For we know in part and we prophecy in part.

But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will be superseded.

When I was an infant,
I spoke as an infant, I reckoned as an infant;
when I became [an adult],
I abolished the things of the infant.

For now we see through a mirror in an enigma, but then face to face.
Now I know in part, but then I shall know
as also I was fully known.

But now remains faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

1 corinthians 13:1-13


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Insecurities



He says ‘She was a pretty girl’. The insecure voice in your head says ‘yes, but is she prettier than me?’

She says ‘I love you.’ The listener in the other room calls out ‘but do you love me?’

He says ‘His work was exceptional.’ And the little voice says ‘but how was my work?’

Insecurities help to identify our vulnerabilities. They help to point out where our weakness lies.

They can be great sign posts if we don’t react to their negative voice in a damaging way.

We can not become an integrated human being if we are worried about ‘others’. ‘Others’ are a figment of our imagination. They are a big wide group that hold our biggest fears of failure, humiliation and ‘not being good enough’.

Notice that when someone is being praised or loved, if you then immediately doubt your own skills or self worth. Does other people’s success make you weaker? Pin point it, and understand yourself.

What makes you afraid that you are not good enough? Every day, pay attention to your thoughts, your feelings, how your body reacts to information. Its your map into the wonderful journey of You.

Then let it go. Let it all go. Breathe. Release those negative patterns. You don’t have to go in search of someone to blame. Forget all that. Just let it go. And then next time someone says something positive to someone else, smile and agree, rather than compare. One sentence, has nothing to do with what goes on in your head. It is only the value your insecurity puts on it.

Bring yourself back to centre. Breathe. Know yourself.

Photo: Tiffany Jones

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Space Between

The Space Between - Dave Mathews Band

The Space Between 

You cannot quit me so quickly
There's no hope in you for me
No corner you could squeeze me
But I got all the time for you, love

The Space Between
The tears we cry
Is the laughter keeps us coming back for more
The Space Between
The wicked lies we tell
And hope to keep safe from the pain

But will I hold you again?
These fickle, fuddled words confuse me
Like 'Will it rain today?'
Waste the hours with talking, talking
These twisted games we're playing

We're strange allies
With warring hearts
What wild-eyed beast you be
The Space Between
The wicked lies we tell
And hope to keep safe from the pain

Will I hold you again?
Will I hold...

Look at us spinning out in
The madness of a roller coaster
You know you went off like a devil
In a church in the middle of a crowded room
All we can do, my love
Is hope we don't take this ship down

The Space Between
Where you're smiling high
Is where you'll find me if I get to go
The Space Between
The bullets in our firefight
Is where I'll be hiding, waiting for you
The rain that falls
Splash in your heart
Ran like sadness down the window into...
The Space Between
Our wicked lies
Is where we hope to keep safe from pain

Take my hand
'Cause we're walking out of here
Oh, right out of here
Love is all we need here

The Space Between
What's wrong and right
Is where you'll find me hiding, waiting for you
The Space Between
Your heart and mine
Is the space we'll fill with time
The Space Between...


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Meditation Prayer



My God and My All!

meditation prayer - st. francis of assisi


Photo: Tiffany Jones

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Writer's Prayer



Awaken To a new dawn,
I stretch to Infinity 'n reach Beyond the Stars,
In an instant I return,
filling every tissue, sinew, with Joy,
I feed the nectar of life, into each molecule and cell,
The mind and body embrace Divine love
Through the eye of time I see eternity,
Life in life shine bright,
Shine the torch of majestic light,
Find the path to my universal frame,
So I may bask in the wisdom of pure potential,
Guide my hand to write your words.

the writers prayer - michael levy

Photo: Albert Vila

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Prayer for Courage



Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers
but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain
but for the heart to conquer it.

Let me not look for allies in life's battlefield
but to my own strength.

Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved
but hope for the patience to win my freedom.

Grant that I may not be a coward,
feeling Your mercy in my success alone;

But let me find the the grasp of Your hand in my failure.
bengali poet - rabindranath tagore - 1916
Photo: Tiffany Jones