Sunday, October 12, 2008

Psalms of an Infertile Woman

I need your help. The liturgical dance group that I belong to will be doing movement to a series of psalms for the Christ the King Mass (November 23). Because I have a new baby, it was suggested last week that I move to the psalm of the unwed mother. Although I knew I could do it, I kept thinking about a psalm for the infertile woman instead. Today I suggested it and everyone agreed.

Here is where I could use some help. I need to come up with about 30 seconds that can be read aloud while I move to it. All the psalms are from the same book so they have a similar feel which I would like to emulate. Below is the original one to give you a sense of the feel. And by "feel" I mean it pretty loosely. Had I chosen to use the original, I would have had to pare it down to 30 seconds which is a little more than half.

I encourage any and all suggestions. This is a very liberal Catholic church (we once had a female play the part of God and she gave birth to all the animals for Easter) so be as creative as you like. You could submit a stanza or an entire set of stanzas. Thanks in advance!

The original:

PSALM OF A MAIN STREET MADONNA
No Raphael will paint me:
a mother with child,
but without a husband,
clutching a welfare check
with a babe in my arm.

No Botticelli background
behind this mother and child;
the bleak walls of public housing
rather than a hidden, luminous light.
No singing angels cluster
around my head.

Half-a-home, half-a-wife
and less than half-a-life:
a poor single parent
who holds in her lap
a condemned child.

Yes, condemned to live
an entire life in poverty,
so too my grandchildren,
and great grandchildren,
forever prisoners
of the lowest class.

No Michelangelo will carve me
holding the dead body of my son:
shot by police,
dead on drugs,
a victim of a gang war.

I am the sorrowful Madonna.

7 comments:

Lisa said...

Let me preface this by saying that I am not Catholic and not really sure if you're looking for existing writings or something new, but, either way, you inspired me to write (I hope there is nothing offensive in here!).

G-d gives me longing
To hold the child I don’t have.
The sights, the sounds, the smells, the touch.
I yearn, I ache to know life, to feel life

G-d gives me hope
In monthly blocks of time.
To bring forth life
To validate the union of marriage
And honor His commandment
Giveth and taketh with the whisper of blood

G-d gives me tears
That show my pain and sadness.
Tears that others see.
Tears that I alone see
Through which all else is blurred.

Longing, hope, tears. A different sort of trinity.

Leah and Maya said...

Wow Lisa that is great! Its right up my alley as well. Kami I have never heard about this from you???? Talk to you soon.

Familyoftwo said...

I don't know if this is what you are looking for or not...You can cut it down and paraphrase if it would help at all.

GOOD LUCK!!!

“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you”. He doesn’t saunter into a delivery room and look as a newborn takes its first breath and say “Thanks, doc. I’ll take it from here!” Birth is not a prerequisite for God’s protection, God’s love or God’s involvement in your baby’s life. Before your baby was conceived in your body, he or she was already conceived in the heart and mind of God. Before you loved your child, God loved your baby. Before you prepared your nursery, God had already prepared a place. Before you knew you’d lay down your life to save your baby, God laid down His life to save his or her soul. God never planned on waiting until your baby was born to know and love your baby.
God still loves you. Even though He has allowed you to walk through the devastation of miscarriage. He offers you His comfort and His healing. You can pour out your heart to God and He’ll understand. When friends, family, and even your spouse can’t bear to see your tears anymore, God has incredibly broad shoulders for you to cry on and strong arms for you to fall into. Lay your head on His chest and hear His heart beating. A heart that broke just like yours has.

Working Girl said...

Kami, I am not a talented writer so I won't even try to come up with something. I just wanted to thank you for checking up on me and leaving a comment on my blog.

Sky said...

Kami, geez Louise! Your writing skills are stellar. Can't compete!

Kay..Lukes mom said...

Well Kami.. here goes ...
I am not sure how you wanted the ending.. I can do a different one if you like me to try again .....

Her news of joy that
she would soon be holding
that which I had been denied

No one understood the fears
as hopes was shattered as
another month, another year
went by as my body and my
soul lay barren within me

No one understood the sadness
No nursery for me to plan
No shower for me to attend
No child to bless my womb
Nothing left but a will to survive

No one understands my joy
Finally a heart beats beneath mine
Finally my cry has been heard
Finally my joy is complete
Finally I hold my babe in my arms

I WAS the barren Hannah




Actually this really helped me in writing this... I think I will put it on my myspace page ..

thanks again for inspiring me

Kay Lukes mom said...

crud.. part of the first line got cut out.. I will put the full one here ....


No one understood the tears
As yet another woman announced
Her news of joy that
she would soon be holding
that which I had been denied

No one understood the fears
as hopes was shattered as
another month, another year
went by as my body and my
soul lay barren within me

No one understood the sadness
No nursery for me to plan
No shower for me to attend
No child to bless my womb
Nothing left but a will to survive

No one understands my joy
Finally a heart beats beneath mine
Finally my cry has been heard
Finally my joy is complete
Finally I hold my babe in my arms

I WAS the barren Hannah