Faith and Collapse

detail of painting on wool flannel, 1986

I saw a photo of Barack Obama yesterday,

In which he looked so weary

And physically curled in on himself.

I am used to seeing him present himself with an uprightness and fortitude.

My politics are energetic.

Certainly not solely..

But significantly.

This used to embarrass me

As my handle on participating in an intellectual discussion regarding such

Is wobbly at best.

I trust my energetic read of a person place or thing

Over any other intelligence available.

This, certainly, does NOT mean I am never wrong.

Because I am.

I am just aware of humans creativity

When it comes to coercion.

When I saw Obama with his collapsed chest

And shoulders curling forward in a protective stance,

I recognized that posture too well.

It demands psychic gymnastics to move through the world

In a disabled body.

I choose to keep the FAITH

That there is purpose,


Inherent trust (for me)

That my glorious physical Self

Contains all it needs

To remember it’s Self

In the fullest sense


With chronic illness

(And, indeed, with politics)

It is a herculean task

To keep the faith…

I was in a yoga class the other day

And someone came up to me

Saying: “You look so noble sitting there with your straight back.”

Aside from the fact I can physically approach

Few of the postures

The way one might see them laid out in an instruction book,

What she named ‘nobility’ in me

Was really FAITH.

I was choosing FAITH over COLLAPSE.

It would have been so very easy for me to curl into myself

In a slump.

It is not so easy to have faith.

And yet..

Each time I choose it

It seems to get recognized

In ways large and small.

But I keep choosing in this way

Not for the recognition of it.

I choose

Because my choices ARE my politics

And I know something about the sacred nature


And I can’t bear to let Her down.

And so I keep righting myself

Often in the smallest of ways.

And consider that

My prayer.


4 Responses to “Faith and Collapse”

  1. Judy on September 30th, 2011

    simply magnificent

  2. gerry harty on September 30th, 2011


  3. Kayla on October 1st, 2011

    love, love, love this post!

  4. karren on October 10th, 2011

    I had my own bout with lost faith last night and have been struggly today to reclaim my faith. As I fell apart last night, I kept thinking, “Tomorrow you get to start over. Just get through today.” I love what you wrote here. Very appropriate to my thoughts and feelings today. Thank you. Blessings.

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