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Vortices of the Mind

It comes upon you after an oasis of communion, that blitz of prayer, or rise of spiritual thought. You abided and ate . . . four days ago. But today is now. Now, you have left behind that updraft and glided over the wilderness again upon your own frail wings. 

Imperceptibly, you start to sink. And such deviation of ill-fitted inclinations scrapes you against those in formation. A jostle and quiver of wings renders you liable to high winds. And the vortices that spin at this altitude come to raze all flesh to the ground. 

They implicate you with such whispers of ideas you think are your own, and if you follow the bait into the whirlwind, it’s down to the mire you go.

"Remember what you did.
Remember all who saw.
They think of it now and grimace
Wondering how could you dare.
And now you presume to speak?
Now you presume to join?
You aren't worthy of their company.
They're just too polite to say stay at home.
Save them the trouble and don't go
For you shall always be out looking in."

Her son swims without aid, 
He wrestles tough and reads words. 
But your son still sucks his fingers. 
And cries at the smallest of things. 
He’ll be at the bottom of his class
And chased by the bullies at school.
If only you hadn’t coddled so much,
He may’ve had a chance at normalcy.”

“He doesn’t care about your hurt.
He didn’t even hear what you said.
He assumed he already knew
And then advised without understanding.
He’ll never interpret you properly
Because he’s too selfish to empathize
And too condescending to comfort.
Just cut him out of your life 
Until he can get it right.”

“No heads turned your way today,
Not a man or admiring woman.
You’ve lost all your luster and vim
And fallen to the status of frump.
Maybe products or clothes.
Maybe a treatment or two.
But you’re no competition for 
What your man sees everyday.
How could anyone cherish to love you?”

James Smart "Dust"
Down in that funnel, the wings curl in, flightless and sickly and gaunt. There, debris fills the mouth while the mind is ill breeding callousness and faithlessness and contempt. It’s familiar because you've entered these vortices before and been ravaged by what that voice says. 

But today amidst the howling, you feel the slip and put up your hands. Today the prince of the power of the air will not take you in. Today you’ll not plummet to those depths because today you gasp for help.

Subtly and silently, the pressure of His wings lifts you up against His heart. You hear it beating with assurances that long ago gave you wings.

“I died for this too.
I say you are worthy.
I’ve made all things new.
I am maker, creator,
Power over all.
Let justice be mine to wield.
And above all of this abide.”

You pant as you look at the winds that’ve cast you down so oft. “But what of those?” you ask, and He replies in rhythm with His word.

“The enemy strikes in the jostling
That earth-born bodies will do.
And those jostlings are the same ones
That to me bind frail wings unto.

So like the eyes of a faithful husband
Turning from every enticement,
Bounce your thoughts off the mind’s titillations 
When the devil first makes suggestion.

Turn your thoughts then unto my words,
And I will wrench you from gravity's pull 
For I am stronger than whirlwinds aloft
And more satisfying than old habits' lull.

Give me your daily meditations.
Don’t wait for the fear to betide.
Then no thought over you will have mastery
When you in me do abide. 

“I saw then in my dream, so far as this valley reached, there was on the right hand a very deep ditch; that ditch is it into which the blind have led the blind in all ages, and have both there miserably perished. Again, behold, on the left hand, there was a very dangerous quag, into which, if even a good man falls, he can find no bottom for his foot to stand on. Into that quag King David once did fall, and had no doubt therein been smothered, had not He that is able plucked him out.” 
-John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress

Smart, James. Dust. Digital image. Independent. National Geographic, 30 Dec. 2015. Website 30 July 2017. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/photography/national-geographic-photo-contest-2015-winners-revealed-from-dust-tornados-and-orangutans-to-a6790471.html>.

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