Lord help me

It’s only 9 am in the morning and I’m exhausted, which sounds ridiculous, but hey- I’ve been up since 4:30.  That’s early even for me. I spent a day and a half I didn’t exactly budget for doing nothing but explaining about the book(s), why there are two now instead of one, and there isn’t anywhere to get them back from except sleep. I have a feeling I’ll sleep well on that flight to Paris.

I leave Monday morning, God willing, Tuesday if not. The life of a standby crew pass traveller is exciting and unpredictable. I’m still waiting for all of the Dems to clear out of Charlotte, you see, so that the East Coast airplanes open up.

I would show you a photo of my tabletop, with all of my work on it, and all of the things I need to mail today and Monday, but it would make me cry, and we can’t have that on board ship.

Instead, I’m going to turn on NPR, start addressing Priority Mail boxes, and think of baguettes, and Paris, and the sweet feeling of knowing that I Did What Need Be Done to earn my week’s vacation. Because I want to really, really, really enjoy it.

Irreligious as I am, I have business with the concept of God at the Sacre Coeur; there is something I need to do inside my heart; I have a few tears to shed, and a world of thanks to give. I suspect I will be sobbing in churches all over Paris, but that isn’t new.

For some reason (probably having to do with newness and an over-emphasis on literalism in Scripture) I don’t care for American churches (or American religion for that matter) and I rarely find sustenance inside their walls. It isn’t a Creator I seek; it is Creation.  I seek spaces that have seen centuries of human sorrow, joy, and atonement… in those places something very human opens inside me, and I can commune with the sacred.

The Sacre Coeur is a good place; it is always quiet, as tourists are not allowed to take photographs or chit-chat inside the space.

Wish me luck today, or at least a nap.

12 thoughts on “Lord help me

  1. Well, all your hard work has certainly made me happy. I love my earrings! And thanks for the card!
    Enjoy yourself in Paris…you deserve it.

  2. Here’s wishing you lots of very good luck and a refreshing nap. Looking forward to hearing about Paris, your travels, church, etc. Bon voyage !

  3. It’s often difficult to sleep in anticipation of a big trip, especially when you have such high expectations. I too am in awe of all the history and mystery you find in European churches and other architecture. Finish what you’ve determined you must get done and then give yourself over to you and the experience. Enjoy!

    • Oh, I have no trouble sleeping. My problem is that I have to steal time from sleeping to work. It’s just what Must Be Done.
      Thanks for the good wishes! Enjoy China!

  4. American religion… goodness, we started with such good intentions (freedom and all that) and then squeezed every bit of love and joy straight out of it. But I have a working theory that is serving me well and keeping my soul nourished. Physics and Buddha and my own intuition lead me to believe (in a nutshell) that God is really just all of us put together. Our energy, our higher consciousness, that stuff from which we are made that doesn’t judge but just loves – that stuff combines to create the Higher Power. We’re all connected all the time if we choose to be. Whether we are standing in a beautiful church in Paris or in a desert back yard where birds and lizards frolic. Your mileage may vary. But that set of thoughts brings me tremendous joy and peace.

    Peace be with you as you endure this final push of work before you jet off. I appreciate all that you do!

    • Oh, it isn’t “church” or a higher power I need or crave, no matter what I said. I need the concept of God because it’s what drew all of those OTHER souls, and that’s what I want to connect with; that pain, that grief, that ancient human emotion; each brick singing the story of those who have brought their sins, their joys, their heartbreak and ache…

      You actually don’t get that on any streetcorner or back yard… there isn’t anything like a thousand year old church to resonate and amplify the cry of the human spirit for peace.

      Nothing on Earth, that is…

  5. I hear what you’re saying. And the last thing I want to do is argue. Why argue when all we are really doing here is sharing view points and I love that. But I disagree. I think we humans are all connected. And I think all of the old (or new and all of it in between) emotion is there, all the time. But I understand that for you, standing in a thousand year old church offers a tangible conduit to that feeling. For another, it might be holding their grandmother’s rosary that has been passed down to her from her grandmother. And for yet another, it might be the sight of a baby smiling back at them. My contention is that there are so many paths to grace and peace. And we each get to choose (keyword) our way. I believe this with all my heart and I think it is one of the most delicious aspects of the human experience.

  6. Ya know, I have to laugh at myself. It dawned on me that I must come off as sounding SO holier than thou. LOL! The thing is that I am just so joyously happy most of the time, I love to share my pathways. So indulge me – I am not as good at the written craft but I learn every time I read one of your posts and maybe someday I’ll be a better writer because of it. In the meantime, just know I’m just meaning to spread the joy!

    • I never thought that you sounded anything other than sincere, and I am always glad of your simple and joyous heart. As writers we all struggle to both describe beauty and glory, yet convey humility… it’s tough. I fail daily.

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