I was raised in stone built churches on country lanes. Visited four or five times a year, more often late than on time, flanked by my parents and sister. I prefer the old hymns to the new, the silence of reverence to the cries of praise from a congregation, and the arch of oak beams far above me, over the neat square faces of twentieth century municipal buildings thrown up in towns.
My Grandmother would say that God is always with her, no matter the place. When I told her I wasn’t sure I believed in him, she explained how he came to her whenever she was in need. How each time she opened herself to him, he was there. Even though she failed to seek him out when the storm clouds passed. I envied that faith when my own was a rickety boat threatening to drown me at sea.
Elizabeth The First is quoted as saying she did not want to make windows into men’s souls. I have to take sides with her about that. Poetry has a way of carving the essence out of you. Presenting it on a platter for the world to see. Something almost tangible in the way it tells you who you are. My faith is more like water. It runs through me like a stream, babbling in the background, but slipping through my fingers when I reach to grasp it. It is a part of me I still don’t know.
The air smells of rain.
I can feel it in my lungs
with each breath I take.
Another lovely one, Carol. I’m looking out my window and the scene I see is very much like the one in your photo–the table, the cup, the succulent, the garden in the background– except it is a sunny day here.
It’s a stock photo that I use a bit because it works well for this sort of post. I did want to use one of a village church near my parents’ but I couldn’t find one on my phone. Thank you for commenting though. Glad to hear it’s sunny somewhere as well. It’s dark here but the rest of the day was very grey and wet.
I found this to be so interesting to read….each stanza bringing another dimension. I especially loved the imagery you used in describing your faith. I do agree too that poetry does have a way of exposing us. That can range as a risk for some to a necessity for others.
I have to be honest, I had a bit of a paddy when I saw the prompt. I’m not a fan of talking about my faith. Religion yes, I find that fascinating and I love researching different ones, but faith can make me very uncomfortable. I think it’s because I’m so unsure about it and often the person who brings it up is almost forcibly certain. I suppose poetry is partially about pushing people out of their comfort zones.
The prompts vary and I’m sorry it this caused you to feel uncomfortable. I revised the prompt to try to include any idea of the word “faith”, such as faith in other people or ourselves…not just in a religious sense. I really enjoyed your response. I think it just gave a glimpse of what you hold close to you. I am at the other end of the spectrum as far as being open and sometimes that works against me. As far as being “forcibly certain” of my faith….I hope I didn’t convey that.
No, no, that wasn’t a personal jab, more a comment on some of the more vocal blogs here on WordPress. I’ve had people comment on my writing before and the ask if I’d mind checking out their work, only to find they write mostly about god and theology in a way that makes me a little uneasy.
🙂 Oh, I see. Thanks for clarifying, Carol. I would not want to make you feel uncomfortable. Love your work!
Thank you Mish, and I really didn’t mean to sound like I was having a pop, it’s a good prompt. I’m just the sort of person who has physically dived behind the settee rather than face the jehovah witnesses knocking on the door.
Don’t worry about grasping it. It grasps you when you need it. I love “poetry has a way of carving the essence out of you”. I communicate my faith much clearer in poetry than verbally. (I am still learning so that might not be saying much to some, but if you knew me you would agree).
That’s similar to what my gran was getting at I think.
Poetry has been a great tool for me over the last few months to talk about personal issues that I wasn’t sure how to broach. I get what you mean about communicating more clearly through it.
Good observation: “It is a part of me I still don’t know.” It probably not an object to know very clearly, but a reality to experience.
Loved the post… Your grandma was a special woman for sure! Your are on a journey many of us take. Faith is a very frightening thing! Like jumping off the high dive!
I love this – a very honest depiction of faith!
Faith is like water. It flows with life, is diligent and is hard to grasp, even though we trust its existence.
I liked this very much, Carol. I think I understand what you are getting at. Your descriptions are so evocative, too, and the haiku is lovely.
I recognise the scene you paint in your first paragraph, Carol, and, like you, I prefer the old hymns, the silence of reverence and the arch of oak beams. My grandmother was the same as yours and I identify with your excellent description of your faith as a rickety boat. The final paragraph and haiku say it all so beautifully for me – I prefer faith like water rather than a window into my soul.
Your post and poem were both sweet. A person’s faith in God runs very deep and hidden indeed. The sadness is what organizations of authority and control have made of it.
When we discover they are just false front stage sets, we have the freedom to explore our own faith and connection to the God we hope is there and listening, never judging, and always there with us no matter where or what circumstance.
If there is a God, and I still hope there is, he/she/it surrounds and envelopes us.
I hope the water is refreshing, cleansing, healing. Jesus called himself “living water”!
I love how your grandmother’s words stay with you and how you have carried them into this haibun. I too believe that God is with us, wherever the place xxx
I have faith in many things, and can enjoy a sermon too… but my faith never leaves the boundaries of human souls.
PerHapS iT HeLps To HavE
Pet Names For LoVE
Water LiveS NoW
untiL TheN A Chalice HoldS LoVE
HoStAge FroM FaitH FReED LoVES..:)
I really enjoyed this post! Especially you last line in the prose: My faith is more like water. It runs through me like a stream, babbling in the background, but slipping through my fingers when I reach to grasp it. It is a part of me I still don’t know.