Hold On

Hold on to what is good,
Even if it's a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it's a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it's a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
Even if it's easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
Even if someday I'll be gone away from you.

Recently I've been scouring the internet and books for prayers that really speak to me. This is because I will be getting my very own set of custom made prayer beads soon (more on that in another post =D), and do not feel quite ready to write my own prayers yet. Throughout my search, I discovered the ones that moved me the most where the ones of Native American origins. Their culture and beliefs were so embedded within the land that they lived, you could almost taste, touch, smell the earth, the rivers and the sky which so often feature in their prayers. To me, they're also so direct, they pierce straight to the heart of the matter. I love this prayer, especially the first and last lines.

'Hold on to what is good,
Even if it is a handful of earth.'

What a beauftiful, strong sentiment. That despite all the hurt, pain, and darkness that we may feel permeates our lives, all it takes is to stop - kneel where you stand and touch the earth. Even something as simple and mundane as a handful of earth can remind us of the potential for life and hope in barren lands. This reminds me of one of my most favourite movie quotes, from The Lord of the Rings:

Sam: Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going… because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

(Samwise rocks my world =D).

'Hold on to my hand,
Even if some day I'll be gone away from you.'

This line really speaks to me, as someone who struggles sometimes to open up and be vulnerable. To me it means that despite any hurt that loss may cause, even the briefest times of happiness, love and peace are worth being hurt over. It reminds us to cherish what time we do have, to 'kiss the joy as it flies'. Again with a quote from one of my favourite songs of all time, Love Song by Pink:

'I'd rather bleed with cuts of love than live without any scars.'

(Pink also rocks my world =D).

And I don't know about you, but this last line also twists the focus of the prayer at the end. Throughout the prayer, is if I was saying it I'd say the words in it as a reminder to myself, of what's important, to remain strong. But the last line, if I read it out loud and said 'Even if some day I'll be gone away from you', it switches the focus outside of myself, as if reading it for another person. It suddenly reminds me of my place in all this in regards to other people. To not only ask for strength for myself, but for strength for others too, and to be their strength in times of need. I dunno, maybe I'm over analysing here, but it's what I see.

To me, this is a heartachingly simple, touching, strengthening prayer. I hope you like it as much as I do, I simply had to share it.

Question: What part of the prayer most speaks to you? Or how do you interpret parts of it/what does it remind you of or to be aware of?


wanderingbroom 12 September 2009 at 21:12  

Ooh, I wrote an extensive reply a couple of days ago but then my browser got all screwy and somehow the comment wasn't saved properly and I was too devastated to retype it. But now I'm back to attempt re-comment. I hope it works this time. :)

I just wanted to say that I too have been scouring the internet/books for prayers. It's interesting b/c a few years ago, I would've never thought to do this. I'm ashamed to admit that I sort of looked down on people who needed affirmations to get through the day. I saw that as a sign of weakness for some reason, which I now know is completely incorrect but that's a whole other topic there. Anyway, thanks sooo much for sharing this prayer with us. It really touched me too. You touched on all the fine points I wanted to make. I also love "Hold on to what is good, even if it's a handful of earth." But another one that is particularly pertinent to me was "Hold on to what you must do, even if it's a long way from here." I've been struggling with this sense of "my future is so dark, uncertain, and bleak and i don't know if what i'm doing is ever going to take me anywhere or if i'll ever amount to anything or if i'll ever come close to attaining my goals, etc" so that line held special purpose for me. I hope you'll consider sharing more of these prayers with us in the future. :-)

Jan 14 September 2009 at 19:07  

Beautiful post, Haley. I have missed your wise writings. I so hope you love praying with your beads. I am loving mine and hope to do a post on it soon! Blessings!

Suzi Smith 19 September 2009 at 09:20  

mmm... i like this prayer hayley. I havn't read it before, even tho the Native American words were what drew me back to re-connect & I've used so many in my calligraphy. i agree totally with what you've written... think whatever is going on someone's life, one of the sentiments will apply... i can't pick any one as a favourite.

Suzi Smith 4 October 2009 at 12:07  

There's a little present for you over at mine.... & i mean it most sincerely xx

Laura 7 October 2009 at 18:06  

The last line of that prayer is very poignant. It speaks so much of love and the awareness that being together is always impermenent.

Very touching.

Hope you're thriving! Your beads should be there soon, if they aren't already!

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