Tag Archives: prayer

These Hands

I don’t remember this myself, but my mother used to tell me that when I was very young I would stand with my hands outstretched trying to touch the Moon. I was convinced that when I got just a little bit bigger I would be able to catch it in my tiny hands.
My favorite toys were marbles and crayons. Colors captivated me of course, it was what I could do with them in my hands that fascinated me. I would spend hours coloring, drawing in new lines. Taking my aggressions out on the page rather than acting them out more physically.

It’s been years … in fact I cannot remember the last time that I balled my hands into fists because of rage. That doesn’t feel like the right thing to do with them.

My hands have felt extreme cold and extreme heat, and have put those feelings onto paper with ink.

My hands have held my son, and my daughters. They birthed all four into this world: Two by catching and two by pulling and guiding. One of them actually wedged herself in by turning her head at the wrong time and jamming her ear. Just for a moment, and then  hands freed her and she came, gasping and angry.

My hands have purposefully ended two (non-human) lives. I took their lives out of Mercy, and I cried bitterly after each. My hands turned off the machine keeping my mother alive, and signed the papers that let her killer go free. My darkest self believes I have a murderer’s hands.

My hands have been broken, bloodied, chained, and cuffed.

They have worn wedding rings and scars. Nail polish tattoos of a broken and false loyalty.

My hands have been trained to fight. My hands have been trained to heal. My hands have done the devil’s work, and they have been thrown to the sky in praise of a God. I stretched them on the boards for self-righteous mock crucifixion. They have been clasped together until they went numb, begging for an end to the pain of heartbreak.

My hands remember the feeling of caressing the face of my lover. The gentle curve of her cheek, the gentle curve of her hip. They recall the silk-smooth skin of her back. They remind me of the pads of our fingers pressing gently together, and the careful moving of a wisp of her hair from her eyes.

My hands let me speak the words of my heart in magic. They wield the instruments of my craft and turn them into art.

My hands have earned everything that I own. They have saved my life, and they have saved the lives of others.
They have made life a little bit better for countless souls.

The gift I have been given is not my hands, rather the gift I have been given is in my hands. My life’s goal is to honor the giver of the gift by using it.
Until it’s gone.

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Guilt

“Something in me, dark and sticky” ~ Peter Gabriel

There is nothing greater in this life than to be what you were made to be. Feeling the tug? Want to break free from the drudge and living for someone else’s dream? I say wholeheartedly: Yes, you can and yes … there’s nothing better.

There is a price, and some of that price is guilt. Let me unburden, if you please.

Aside: unburden. That’s kind of funny. It implies that once I lay this down to you, I won’t carry it around anymore. Nope. As soon as I fill your ears it’s going right back on my shoulders. Such is me: I can’t let things go.

I’ve achieved success in my work. Success to me means the ability to not only support myself and my family with my art and my craft, but to reach out and help those who need it. It’s important to me and it feels good. It feels great. I work hard at what I do. I do the work because I love it. I want others to feel this amazing thing, too.

With the success came recognition: a minor sort of fame. Interrupted dinners in public. Unwanted advances, suspicious new ‘friends’. That felt good for a while, too, until it burned me a few times. Listen to this, because this is a hard lesson I’m still learning. Fame isn’t worth it. It becomes … tolerable, if you really love what you do. (And I really do love what I do). Sadly, it can make you instantly suspicious of even close friends. There’s the very real probability of unwarranted jealousy on the part of your loved ones, who (rightly) expect your time with them to be sacred. Watch your ego, I constantly remind myself. It can really tear things down quickly.

I know it’s a bit rambling this time, such are my thoughts.

Point is: even when you work hard … for decades, even. When you work until your throat is raw and your fingers can’t feel … when you take the stage with a kidney stone tearing its merry way through you because the show MUST go on … achieving the success can bring feelings of guilt. I’ve heard:

“It came to easy for you.”
“You don’t charge enough and you’re undercutting everyone.”
“You charge too much and you’re making the rest of us look cheap.”

I get accused of being a diva and of being ‘moody’, sometimes. Sorry folks: sometimes I get too deep in my own head.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Guilt.

I’ll deal with it. I’m still carrying it, even when I know I’ve not done anything wrong. I’ll bear it, grinning or not. Perhaps a good story will come from it.

In the end, that’s why I’m here. This is what I was made for. To tell my stories and do magic tricks.

Regarding those things: I have no guilt and there will be no apologies.

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