Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein
Woman with a brilliant mind

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blessed are the defeated and lost.

This ongoing post-election psychological breakdown has started to wear at me and give me physical pain. So I went and got Gertrude and took her to the gym, where we went down in the basement with our swimsuits on, and sat in the not-quite-hot-enough hot tub to soothe our ills--her old bones and my neck that got bent out of shape.

I asked her, "Do you pray? And if you do, what do you get out of it?"

There was a time when I felt so sorry for her physical aging. The skin on her arms hangs down and the wrinkles on her face are so deep that if I think of smooth, dewy tautness as the only kind of beauty, she is very un-beautiful indeed. But when I think of people in themselves, beautiful for being human and not for being young, she's all right and so am I, with my fat midsection.

She frustrates me so much. She never answers a question directly. She said,

"Is prayer supposed to be done so you can get something out of it? Like, you offer prayer and there is an exchange and you get a blessing?"

"Hrrrrrrrmmmmmph" I groused.

"Why, Liz? (She calls me Liz) have you started praying?"

"Yes. This morning I read the poetry of Rumi and it gave me comfort. And then I knelt down on the floor and started praying. But I didn't ask for a blessing in payback, no. Not really. I don't think--I'm not sure. I really just wanted help in understanding, however it might come to me. I wasn't even sure if God was there or there is anything like that."

"Well I guess you can always try it, why not."

"I try to define who God is for myself..."

Gertrude's eyebrows raised at that and it told me everything I needed to know at that point.

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