Friday, March 22, 2013


As I have mentioned in recent posts, I have been participating in a online class integrating art and monastic values through Abbey of the Arts. The class is nearly over and one of our assignments was to write an "instructional poem" in the spirit of Wendell Berry's "How to be a Poet". It was to be a reminder to myself of how I want to approach my spiritual/creative vocation. As are most, I consider this poem to be a gift given to me, not because I am worthy of it or talented. Rather, it is a call to me. Perhaps in sharing it with you, it will call to something in you...not that you need to be a psychologist :-) but it may call to something that will aid you in your journey to being you.

how to be a psychologist

get out of bed and wash your face with gratitude.
open your heart and gaze upon God’s face
that you might recognize him
when later you see him at your door.
take care of yourself: eat breakfast, drink tea.
allow time to pray and reflect.
try not to be late.
bless whatever workspace you have been given.
bless the chairs, the pens, the paper,
the very air you will breathe
and remember that this place is to be
a garden where grace and healing can grow.
when the suffering one arrives,
greet him at the door with kindness, whatever his state.
remember that he comes because he is lost
and that he looks to you for hope.
be gentle and listen with care.
do not worry if you do not know what to say.
there may be no words or there may be many.
keep your heart open and your mind tranquil.
there is One greater than you at work here.
when the gift has been given through you
be ever grateful to the suffering one
for allowing you to walk with him.
do not dread overmuch the documenting you must do,
for you are writing the sacred stories
that perhaps no one else will ever hear.
allow yourself to feel their sadness
and do not run from the confusion and fear they hold.
embrace them with a reverence
as you would the wounds of the Savior –
for indeed, that is what they are.
now, go home. rest.
write poems, paint pictures, play music.
express and share the truth you have learned
that one day the world may come to understand.