Prayer

Prayer is not a thing to get done,

but rather a coming undone —

letting go of all the handholds

we cling to so tightly,

feeling our bodies pull away

from the cliff face we’re scaling.

It is being certain that

uncertainty can’t kill us,

and that getting to the top

is not true victory anyway.

Prayer is coming undone

alone

and together

until all we have are eyes

for the miraculous.

The Turkish Inspiration Fairy

Yesterday I was sitting in church when a few words of poetry floated into my brain…in Turkish. It took me a moment to realize that I had just began my first poem in Turkish! I immediately opened the notes app on my phone and began tapping down the words (insert sheepish comment about not paying attention in church here). I’m not saying it’s perfect or beautiful or even good at all really in Turkish (thought I definitely owe credit to my friend Didem who helped me with editing), but I still feel something indescribable right now. I feel like Turkey and my life here has wound its way deeply into my heart. Something feels different. Good. Mystical. Like home. Here’s my poem, along with a photo I took last year of my brother and his wife.

Yalnızım dedim

Here’s a translation in English, although it doesn’t really sound the same to me…I didn’t think of these words in English first, so it’s kinda funny to hear them like this.

I’m alone, I said.

You said, I’m here.

I’m so afraid, I said.

You said, I will never abandon you.

I have no strength, I said.

You said, There is strength in weakness.

I have no one, I said.

You said, I am yours.

My spirit is weary, I said.

You said, Come, I will give you peace.

Ok, ok, I said. But do you love me?

You said, My darling, don’t you know?

You are a part of me.

I love with with all that I have.

 

New Name for my Blog!

Hello lovely readers,

IMG_2433Welcome to my freshly updated blog, I Sing My Soul!

This space has been in a bit of limbo since I decided that I would not primarily be writing about my adventures in Izmir, Turkey (where I live). At first though, I didn’t really know what I would write about.

About a year ago, I changed the title simply to my first and middle name, Ingrid Claire, because all I knew for sure was that I’d be writing things personal in nature. I also obtained the corresponding domain name at that time. I wrote about the creative process, novel-writing, pain and sadness, and I also started using the space to share my poetry.

Over the past year, though I haven’t posted heavily, I’ve noticed that I most enjoy using this space to post poetry and other creative endeavors, and sometimes to share personal reflections. So, that is what my blog will focus on! Once this became clear in my mind, the new title immediately came to me, as it is also the title of a poem I wrote before moving to Izmir. You can find that poem and more thoughts at my updated About page.

You may continue to see some changes on the site as I get things settled, but for now, welcome again to I Sing My Soul! I hope to produce and post more consistent (weekly) poetry and other content but sometimes I hit writer’s block for a few weeks  months so sorry in advance when/if that happens! It’s a joy to hear from readers, especially if you are moved or encouraged by something I write, so please don’t be shy to make your presence known. 🙂

 

Combating Anxiety with Story Telling

Love this post by friend and fellow blogger Kelly joiner!

Behind Pained Faces

I’ve inherited a lot of things from my family. One of them being: claustrophobia. Yep, I definitely had to stop the “Finding Nemo” submarine ride at Disneyland because I literally felt like I was drowning. Sitting in a large spacious room with the doors open, watching Nemo on a tiny television screen while all my friends laughed at me, never felt so freeing.

I experience many of the same anxieties in every day life. Sometimes I feel trapped by my own calendar. How foolish of me to plan so many meetings in one day, but now it’s on my calendar, there’s no escaping! Or I feel trapped by all the needs of people around me. They want too many things from me and I can’t deliver. Driving on the 405…well, enough said there. And I frequently speak of Fibromyalgia as claustrophobic. I can’t escape the pain of my own body. And as I look at the unravelling of…

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Stay

J-Goto-Absence

When the storm finally passes,

sun cutting through the clouds,

will I know my soul among the masses

the blurred faces of the crowds?

Do I still hear the certain voices

of sadness and of anger

or have I made different choices

and remain to them a stranger?

Did I feel the healing fingers

of the raindrops on my skin?

Do I know the hope that lingers

when I let everything come in?


* Artwork pictured above is “Absence” by Jennifer Goto, a Los Angeles-based artist who works with Japanese mineral pigments and gold and silver leaf.

My Current Life Soundtrack

Music has been sNothing Left To Lose - cover artuch an important part of this season for me so I’m sharing my top hits from the past few months. Each song represents an album that I’ve been listening to on repeat during my morning coffee, on the bus, while cleaning and cooking, and just whenever. There’s a bit of a progression from song to song, so I’ve tried to order them accordingly. At the same time, walking through pain and grief is not exactly linear so although I may be feeling #6 one day, the next day I’m “back” to #1.

I’ve linked all the songs, so take a listen when you have some minutes. I hope the music and lyrics can connect with you wherever you are at today. All are important to me, but my current favorites are Renaissance by Mat Kearney and Best Shot by Birdy and Jaymes Young. I could write a whole post on each song, but for now I’ll just let the music speak.

1. Wandering, Gungor

2. Carry on Wayward Son, Kansas

3. Best Shot, Birdy and Jaymes Young (Fault in Our Stars bonus track)

4. Renaissance, Mat Kearney

5. Sözlerin Bittiği Yer, Kayra Akpınar, Murat Susmak and Beste Uyanıkoğlu

6. Echoes of Heaven, Keith and Kristyn Getty

*Since most of you don’t know Turkish, if you’re interested in the lyrics for #5, here they are: Sözlerin bittiği yerde isam sana taparım (In the place where words end, my jesus I worship you). Gözlerimi kaparım, kalbimi açarım, sana taparım (I close my eyes, I open my heart, I worship you). Gül getirdim sana hayatımdan (I brought you a rose from my life), kalbimden topladım senin için İsa (I picked it from my heart for you Jesus).