Letters to God- on love in the middle of pain

Beautiful post written by my friend Camilla.

She laughs without fear

You’ve been faithful, God. More faithful and more gracious than I could ever deserve.

But right now, my heart feels swamped.

There’s pain, all different kinds.

Sometimes piercing like something sharp, sometimes a shocking punch in the gut. Sometimes it’s a dull ache. I’ve known them all these last months.

It’s not all my pain – and yet, in a way, it is. Those I’ve witnessed suffering around me are not starving orphans or earthquake victims; just people experiencing injustice, heartache and the cruel hand of sickness.

These people are my flesh and blood, and the people my soul loves. How can their pain not be mine? I don’t know how to not be burdened by it. I absorb other’s pain like a sponge. I want to fix everything and I can’t.

I am tired and confused and sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode. Too many…

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You remember learning to be kind
and more patient
with yourself.

Some days seem too steep to climb,
others are smooth.

Some days you worry too much –
what will they think?
how do I look?
why am I crying? hurt?

Some days you like being here,
others you wonder why it doesn’t all just end.

Some days you worry about sliding back
into the whirlpool of twisted thoughts
and knots and aching limbs
and shifting ground…

Some days you miss sitting in that room
opposite a sweet, yet distant, lady
who asked you tough questions
and helped you feel understood.

Some days you wonder whether
you’ve recovered.

What is that anyway?

The evening of November 4th.

It’s been an evening jam-packed with interesting links to photographs, articles and videos. From hearing Zooey Deschanel, Zach Braff and other well-known people read mean tweets aloud to reading about a journalist’s struggle with anorexia, it has been an evening of letting my curiosity roam free and explore. My head explodes with information as I think about how late it is, 23.28 – I should be sleeping, not writing. Since my over-stimulated brain will find it hard to sleep, I thought I’d give publishing my spontaneous thoughts a go. I wonder why I spent a whole evening reading about all these things: it’s kept my mind busy but I think there may be more to it. I’ve been out of my head the past few hours, it’s nice. But is it a healthy exercise or pure escapism?

Anyway, if you care to read/watch some of what has occupied my evening, here are some links:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2000/jun/21/fashion.hadleyfreeman A very old article but well worth a read. The writer shares some thoughts on anorexia, her own experience with it and how it all relates to the fashion industry. It’s not your typical blame-it-on-the-fashion-magazines kind of article.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFXl27z5sIE A teenager’s words and joyful tears.

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/facial-changes-caused-by-smoking Interesting. Seeing the external effects of smoking might be helpful for some people.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/bolz-webers-liberal-foulmouthed-articulation-of-christianity-speaks-to-fed-up-believers/2013/11/03/7139dc24-3cd3-11e3-a94f-b58017bfee6c_story.html An article about a woman who leads a church in Denver. One of my favourite lines in the article: “She’s a tatted-up, foul-mouthed champion to people sick of being belittled as not Christian enough for the right or too Jesus-y for the left.”

http://www.aviddetention.org.uk/ Associacion of Visitors to Immigration Detainees. I’ve been looking into volunteering to help refugees or migrants. My heart aches at the thought of what happens in detainee centres. I used to live close to one in a southern European country and sometimes you could hear people cry at night… I might write some more on this subject another time.

http://www.ted.com/talks/hetain_patel_who_am_i_think_again.html Who am I? Think Again, by Hetain Patel. I watched this for the first time about a week ago. Insightful. Entertaining. Funny.

I started writing this more than half an hour ago…I’m so slow =( Ah well, please feel free to comment and let me know what you think about any of these topics.

Yessica Dædalus.

Saturday morning.

on a Saturday morning
she would get up early
and tiptoe to the kitchen.

she’d learned to be quiet,
in the kitchen
she’d learned to disappear
into the silence.

there, every Saturday morning,
she would enjoy a
few hours of coffee scented

she’d learned to be quiet
in the kitchen;
zachtjes lopen,
koffie maken,

keeping her mysteries
a secret.

Saturday morning.
by Yessica Daedalus, 2013

On unaccustomed earth.

Human nature will not flourish, any more than a potato, if it be planted and replanted, for too long a series of generations, in the same worn-out soil. My children have had other birthplaces, and, so far as their fortunes may be within my control, shall strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.

– Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Custom-House”

Thinking about migration.
Sometimes I can see how interesting it is to have travelled and seen so much of the world in such a short period of time. On bad days my being yearns for some sort of tangible collective identity, I want to claim a nationality, a language, a culture – I want one of those things to be mine, to define me. It never works. I know that even if I could fully identify with a specific culture I’d always be painfully aware that culture doesn’t answer the question of who I am.
Reading this quote reminds me that there is something very valuable in having lived in different places, however painful the experience. Unaccustomed earth can be confusing, extremely painful, humiliating at times… But if you choose to endure and learn to walk on it (even when it stings) you flourish. That sounds much better than longing for “the same worn-out soil”.

– Yessica Dædalus, 2013


Train journeys on rainy afternoons;
The perfect setting for reflection.
The world has turned green in
my absence.
Flowers, though,
are taking their time.
It’s only a season of life
Only a season in the valley;
A season
Soaked in green
Groen: beautiful, rich,
everlasting green.

Viajar en tren durante tardes lluviosas
es perfecto para reflexionar.
El mundo se ha tornado verde
en mi ausencia.
Las flores, sin embargo,
se están tomando su tiempo.
Es sólo una temporada en la vida;
a season, like the rainy season
Sólo es un tiempo
en el valle.
teñido de verde:
hermoso, interminable