I Shall Make Prayer of It by Natalie Weaver

This is a poem I published almost ten years ago. It is as if I wrote it yesterday.  The image is more or less of the same sentiment as the poem.

I publish these again here in memory of my father.



I am always cleaning
though not fast enough
to really organize
what I cannot put away.
It is messy in closets
that cover the appearance of order.
I am still sitting on wool carpet watching

The dusts dance in little beams of hope.
The same ones that lighted by wonder
in warmth and youth a beauty made
of windows and particles.
Probably the same ones that caused dirt and flu.
But what matter is it in the world that is merely
the simultaneity of being in which at once
the limos and the hearses depart for the church.

His scar I loved before the rest of him.
Neither pervert nor sadist I found merely
the beauty in this broken skin.
As it was in the beginning.
As it all shall be again.
Ah, the tenant’s died again.
And I am wondering if this death
undoes the rest
or just reframes it
or simply ends it
or starts the new again.

What needs this grace is not depraved
even if it really is ugly.
Cleaning again this, then,
is my Enso.
I am in the dusty beam
jogging around the perfectly unclosed circle,
practicing the infinite unfinishing,
interpreting the paradox of habitual liberation,
balancing the inevitable broken symmetry of hope
begetting eternally.

I shall endeavor to draft it
again and again and again and again
until I need no longer
smell blueprints
or paint circles
or clean closets
or dig up anything at all.
For now, at the end,
I am back to cleaning.

But, I shall make prayer of it.


Natalie Kertes Weaver, Ph.D.is Chair and Professor of Religious Studies at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio. Natalie’s academic books includeMarriage and Family: A Christian Theological Foundation (Anselm, 2009); Christian Thought and Practice: A Primer (Anselm, 2012); and The Theology of Suffering and Death: An Introduction for Caregivers (Routledge, 2013)Natalie’s most recent book is Made in the Image of God: Intersex and the Revisioning of Theological Anthropology (Wipf & Stock, 2014).  Natalie has also authored two art books: Interior Design: Rooms of a Half-Life and Baby’s First Latin.  Natalie’s areas of interest and expertise include: feminist theology; theology of suffering; theology of the family; religion and violence; and (inter)sex and theology.  Natalie is a married mother of two sons, Valentine and Nathan.  For pleasure, Natalie studies classical Hebrew, poetry, piano, and voice.

Categories: Family, Poetry

Tags: , ,

6 replies

  1. I did a search this morning at Google, after seeing your “Enso” here, thanks Natalie, and I was delighted to see such a very beautiful and huge collection of ink brushed circles slightly open, never completely closed, all over the Internet. But I have never before had the surprise and privilege to see a painting of a woman meditating inside the “Enso.” Again, thank you, thank you, for this delightful image, Natalie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i love the idea of an Enso….
    at the end of my rituals I always say “the circle is open but unbroken”


  3. Such a strong, beautiful poem. I feel as though I am inside it with you, remembering forgotten paradoxical truths. Thank you for the image and concept of Enso, which I too googled. I found it also has a meteorological meaning: (El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a recurring climate pattern involving changes in the temperature of waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean) which also seems strangely apt. Thank you for the wisdom and beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So poignant, thanks for sharing!


  5. The drawing touched me and drew me in before I knew what “Enso” is from comments. Thank you all.


  6. I think there is a cyclical nature to realizations and growth, so it makes sense to me that this creation would hold meaning now also, but I wonder if it is the same meaning for you? Is there a difference? Following you by the way.


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