Thou: A Prayer of the Heart

A Prayer of the Heart
By Pelle Lowe

You, Beloved,
Light of unparalleled beauty in endless galaxies,
our stars, our moon, in all that exists in this sacred
earth and the gift of my existence on it,

You, Beloved,
present in your immense Darkness,
immanent everywhere in the unknowable universe,
even in the terrible night of my soul,

You, Who have given me the power to love
And a vision of your infinite mercy
So that I might learn to cry out to you as I would
to one I adore Do not leave! Be with me now!

Dearly Beloved,
I pray that you see the confusion of my heart,
and free it from its prison, so I might open to
Your Presence and be astonished with joy.

Beloved Friend,
Let me walk with You, that I might learn
to receive and share Your boundless compassion.
Let it be So.

And what of my own recent experience of an inexplicable tenderness toward parts of myself I had most rejected? This prayer is my way of asking.

Author’s Note: It isn’t possible for me to look without amazement at the crazy beauty in NASA’s photographs of the galaxies, or to study the intricate lacey patterns traced by an electron, much less to take note of the fact that most of the universe is Something Unknown, larger by far than all we can detect with our most sophisticated technologies: Dark Matter and its companion, Dark Energy. The advanced physics and mathematics that demonstrate that we are all connected in multiple dimensions simply take the top of my head off. How can such beauty exist, I wonder, if there were not a Creator.

As I have aged, my sense of awe has only increased and includes an emergent longing for the experience of an intimacy within this infinite miracle. For me this is a new kind of wonder. The tensile fragility of my love for another seems to be only half the story of this longing, the human half of creation. But what of that profoundly untranslatable experience of the mystics? Is it the beauty and terror of the Creator reaching directly into our own hearts? And what of my own recent experience of an inexplicable tenderness toward parts of myself I had most rejected?

This prayer is my way of asking. Originally I wrote this in the familiar case, which we have lost in English but retain in many other languages. Tu—in most modern Romance languages the familiar form of address among friends and close family members—was it Abba (the Aramaic equivalent of Daddy) Jesus called out to? And it is like the Du of Martin Buber’s I and Thou. But the older English form has grown strange to us, so I left it only in the title, Thou, but my intention throughout the prayer was to speak in that familiar inward form of address. §


Pelle Lowe is a writer, experimental filmmaker, and intermedia artist. She began writing at the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences at UMass, Boston. Her recent poems have appeared in FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics; the Arch Literary Journal from Washington University; the online magazine Inertia; and Cyphers, an Irish literary journal.

Header Image: NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)