The Addiction of Prayer.
I wonder sometimes if I have any idea of what is going on when I pray. This is especially true when lapsing into God’s presence I find myself tumbling, as if in a washing machine, (or, often, in a clothes drier) in muddied waters or arid confusion. I try to settle down and wait, sit it out or walk it off, for as long as it takes. I do nothing other than be: helpless and trusting that there is more to prayer than this.
I know I have had rewards in the past, little miracles, touches of love and moments of pure grace. These intermittent rewards keep drawing me on, promising more. And always, I keep on hoping for more, addicted to the glimpses of light I have seen.
A Reading of R.S. Thomas, “Somewhere”
R.S. Thomas is a poet who, for me, makes twilight wordfalls, which generate faint illuminations and direct my inner sight to the deeper world within. This poem, “Somewhere” loosens within me the knottedness of my prayer life and seems to speak of this obsessive journey for the “one light”, possibly the only addiction we need.
Something to bring back to show
you have been there: a lock of God’s
hair, stolen from him while he was
asleep; a photograph of the garden
of the spirit. As has been said,
the point of travelling is not
to arrive, but to return home
laden with pollen you shall work up
into the honey the mind feeds on.
What are our lives but harbours
we are continually setting out
from, airports at which we touch
down and remain in too briefly
to recognise what it is they remind
us of? And always in one
another we seek the proof
of experiences it would be worth dying for.
Surely there is a shirt of fire
this one wore, that is hung up now
like some rare fleece in the hall of heroes?
Surely these husbands and wives
have dipped their marriages in a fast
spring? Surely there exists somewhere,
as the justification for our looking for it,
the one light that can cast such shadows.