Neilah

The time nears for the closing of the Gates.
So your soul calls upon the name of God,
HaRachaman,
One Who loves deeply from within.

 

sunset-spotted_though

HaRachaman,
I've traveled far, my staff in hand.
I'm weary and my provisions are at an end.
The path seems narrow, and at times disappears all together.
I've walked through thickets and through brush,
at times I've lost my way.

Show me your gates, that I may seek refuge.
Receive me at this day's end.

HaRachaman,
I'm not perfect.
I'm a human soul decorated with history,
an earthen pot imprinted by life.

Each mark can be seen either as a sign of imperfection, damage, and thus
the pot is cast off,
or as having been made interesting, etched by use, rich with story,
the imperfection becoming ennobling, and thus,
the pot is treasured.

My offering is myself, a dented pot, humbled, unfinished,
filled with possibilities.
I beg You, open wide Your gates, and
embrace me.

HaRachaman, I've journeyed long, my body worn,
my resources at a low ebb.

The path winds.
The gates lie closed.

kathy-neilah-sunst-1
I've walked through valleys and through wilderness.

I've lost days clinging to the familiar, 
afraid of the unknown.

Help me find an open doorway,
that I might find shelter.
Enfold me as I wander in.

 

 

HaRachaman,
I'm imperfect.
I'm mortal, product of rich loam and starry heaven, living in exile,
a cloth aged by use.

Fabric that can be seen either as frayed, shabby, and thus
the fabric is tossed aside, or
as in need of repair, woven through with threads of beauty,
able to be mended, and thus,
the cloth is valued.

My offering is myself, a timeworn cloth, faded, fragile,
woven with potential.
I beg You, open wide Your gates, and
receive me.

frank-gates-nei-bldoor

HaRachaman,
the light is fading.

I ache from wandering.
From the ways I've strayed
from my path.

Now I pray,
help me see an entrance. 
And if one gate is closed,
help me find my way to one that is yet open.

For night comes, and
I long to return.

  

Enclose me in Your arms,
that I might come home.

Open wide the gates, HaRachaman,
that I might enter.

Open wide the gates,
HaRachaman
.

 

Photography Credits

First and last photograph: Frank Dobrushken
Second photograph: Kathy Berendt