Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

 

The Gifts of Our Lives

Posted on: April 4th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Divine-Gifts-6129895This new prayer of gratitude includes an alphabetical acrostic. Acrostics were a mainstay of Jewish liturgical poems, known as piyutim. This piece combines the acrostic with a four-part structure that repeats in each of the internal stanzas, using the metaphor of G-d as “well,” “source,” “foundation” and “crown.” In an early draft of a prayer called Elijah, I spelled his name with the initial letters in each of the opening lines, but later revised the piece to broaden its scope, losing the acrostic.

The Gifts of Our Lives
With gratitude and appreciation
We give thanks for the gifts
Which flow into our lives day-by-day.
A river of divine blessing.

For You are the well of Abundance,
The source of Beauty,
The foundation of Courage
And the crown of Dreams.

You are the well of Energy,
The source of Faith,
The foundation of Grace
And the crown of Hope.

You are the well of Insight,
The source of Justice,
The foundation of Kindness
And the crown of Love

You are the well of Mercy,
The source of Nourishment,
The foundation of Our Lives
And the crown of Peace.

You are the well of Quiet,
The source of Righteousness,
The foundation of Strength
And the crown of Truth.

For You are the well of Understanding,
The source of Vitality,
The foundation of Wonder
And the crown of Years.

With gratitude and appreciation
We give thanks for the gifts
Which flow into our lives day-by-day.
A river of divine blessing.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Note that this acrostic is incomplete, it that I did not create lines for the letters q’ and ‘z.’ My other prayers of gratitude include several favorites: “Fresh Delights,” “Now,” “One Gift,” “Unseen Lands”  and “Sacred Cargo.”

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Photo Source: Heaven Now

Vayakhel-Pekudei: For the Gift of Art

Posted on: March 10th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

'Windows_Open_Simultaneously_(First_Part,_Third_Motif)'_by_Robert_DelaunayIn this week’s double torah portion, Vayakhel-Pekudei, the master artist Bezalel is named to direct the creation of the tabernacle, all of its symbols and tools, as well as the vestments of the priests. From Impressionism to Dada, from sculpture to photography, from Michelangelo to Chagall to Hokusai, the visual arts are amazing. Here’s another prayer celebrating creativity. It follows the same structure as the others in this series, which is explained in the introduction to “For the Gift of Song.”

For the Gift of Art
G-d, we give thanks for the gift of art,
For pencil and paint,
For glass and fabric,
For metal and stone,
For the gift that sees wisdom and beauty hidden in Your works,
For the skill and love that creates and crafts,
Releasing divine radiance for others to see.
Hear this prayer for those who fashion art
Revealing the secret glories of Your creation.
Make their works Your vessel.
Let heaven pour its vision through them
So that they overflow with Your light
Drawing others to Your glory.
So that when we see their works,
Our souls turn back to You in appreciation.
Together, we offer our gratitude back to heaven,
And rejoice.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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Postscript: Be sure to check out the other prayers in this series: “For the Gift of Song,” “For the Gift of Words,” “For the Gift of Dance,” “For the Gift of Music,” “For the Gift of Laughter,” “For the Gift of Torah Scholarship” and “For the Joy of Learning.” This prayer first appeared on this site on July 2, 2010; this version has slight modifications.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons, ‘Windows Open Simultaneously (First Part, Third Motif)’ by Robert Delaunay

For the Gift of Music, In Memory of Lou Reed

Posted on: October 28th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Lou_reedMy prayer “For the Gift of Music,” reposted today in memory of Lou Reed. Here’s a favorite: “A Walk on the Wild Side.” This prayer from my series on creativity, a short and sweet one about music with a different focus than “For the Gift of Song.” That post explains the common structure of these prayers. To listen, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

For the Gift of Music
G-d, we give thanks for the gift of music,
For horn and flute,
For strings and drums,
For crescendo and staccato,
For the gift that gives our spirits a divine voice.
Hear this prayer for those who write music, arranging sound, seeking beauty.
Hear this prayer for those who play music, creating sound, releasing beauty.
Make their music Your vessel.
Let heaven pour joy and sorrow, love and loss through them
So that they overflow with Your most secret prayers for Your people,
Drawing others to Your blessings.
So that when we hear their music
Our souls turn back to You for shelter.
Together, we offer our voices back to heaven,
And rejoice.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: This prayer first appeared on May 12, 2010. Please check out the other prayers in this series: “For the Gift of Song,” “For the Gift of Words,” “For the Gift of Dance,” “For the Gift of Art,” “For the Gift of Laughter,” “For the Gift of Torah Scholarship” and “For the Joy of Learning.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Shabbat Shira: For the Gift of Music

Posted on: December 5th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

This is a short and sweet prayer about music reposted today in gratitude for a fantastic weekend at OSRUI, the musical retreat Shabbat Shira. To listen while you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

For the Gift of Music
G-d, we give thanks for the gift of music,
For horn and flute,
For strings and drums,
For crescendo and staccato,
For the gift that gives our spirits a divine voice.
Hear this prayer for those who write music, arranging sound, seeking beauty.
Hear this prayer for those who play music, creating sound, releasing beauty.
Make their music Your vessel.
Let heaven pour joy and sorrow, love and loss through them
So that they overflow with Your most secret prayers for Your people,
Drawing others to Your blessings.
So that when we hear their music
Our souls turn back to You for shelter.
Together, we offer our voices back to heaven,
And rejoice.

Postscript: I also had the pleasure of reading this at an open mike night at Shabbat Shira. It was originally posted on May 12, 2010, and was reposted along with “For the Gift of Song,” in memory of  Debbie Friedman, z”l, on January 9, 2011. My other creativity prayers include: “For the Gift of Dance,” “For the Gift of Art,” “For the Gift of Laughter,” “For the Gift of Words” and “For the Gift of Torah Scholarship.”

© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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Music and Song

Posted on: January 9th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

Here are two prayers — “For the Gift of Song” and “For the Gift of Music” — reposted in memory of Debbie Friedman, z”l. Her Mi Sheberach got me through the death of my wife. I hope these prayers are a source of meaning and comfort for those of you who knew her, learned from her and sang with her. Even though I can say none of those things, she played a key role in my healing.

For the Gift of Song
G-d, we give thanks for the gift of song,
For the gift of melody and harmony,
For the gift of voices quilted together in chorus,
Lifting praises toward the holy realms.
Hear this prayer for those who chant in Your Name,
Who chant for healing,
Who chant to witness Your love,
Your power,
Your grace.
Make their voices Your vessel.
Let heaven pour joy through them
So that they overflow with Your light,
Drawing others to Your glory.
So that when we hear their song
Our hearts turn back to You in peace.
Together, we offer our prayer back to heaven
And rejoice.

For the Gift of Music
G-d, we give thanks for the gift of music,
For horn and flute,
For strings and drums,
For crescendo and staccato,
For the gift that gives our spirits a divine voice.
Hear this prayer for those who write music, arranging sound, seeking beauty.
Hear this prayer for those who play music, creating sound, releasing beauty.
Make their music Your vessel.
Let heaven pour joy and sorrow, love and loss through them
So that they overflow with Your most secret prayers for Your people,
Drawing others to Your blessings.
So that when we hear their music
Our souls turn back to You for shelter.
Together, we offer our voices back to heaven,
And rejoice.

Postscript: Other prayers for the creative arts include: “For the Gift of Dance,” “For the Gift of Art” and “For the Gift of Laughter.”

© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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 For notices of new prayers posted here, please subscribe. To read four to six mini-prayers each week, as well as notices of new prayers posted to the site, please join the To Bend Light fan page on Facebook.

For the Gift of Words

Posted on: September 29th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

This is a prayer for writers and orators, another in my series of creativity prayers, including “For the Gift of Song,” which describes the common framework used in this series. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

For the Gift of Words
G-d, we give thanks for the gift of words,
The gift of language,
The gift of insight and emotion,
The gift of sacred communion through communication.
For it was You who spoke and the world came into being.
It was You who carved tablets on the holy mountain.
Hear this prayer for those who write to explore the mysteries of creation.
Hear this prayer for those who speak to unlock Your divine secrets.
Make their words Your vessel.
Let heaven pour wisdom and love through them
So that they overflow with Your glory,
Drawing others to Your truths.
So that when we hear these words
Our souls turn back to You in love.
Together, we offer our insights back to heaven,
And rejoice.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Be sure to check out the other prayers in this series: “For the Gift of Song,” “For the Gift of Dance,” “For the Gift of Art,” “For the Gift of Music,” “For the Gift of Laughter,” “For the Gift of Torah Scholarship” and “For the Joy of Learning.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

 

For the Gift of Art

Posted on: July 2nd, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

From Impressionism to Dada, from sculpture to photography, from Michelangelo to Chagall to Hokusai, the visual arts are amazing. Here’s another prayer celebrating creativity. It follows the same structure as other in this series, which is explained in the introduction to “For the Gift of Song.” To listen while you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

For the Gift of Art
G-d, we give thanks for the gift of art,
For pencil and paint,
For glass and fabric,
For metal and stone,
For the gift that sees wisdom and beauty hidden in Your works,
For the skill and love that creates and crafts
Releasing divine radiance for others to see.
Hear this prayer for those who fashion art to reveal the secret glories of Your creation.
Make their works Your vessel.
Let heaven pour its vision through them
So that they overflow with Your light
Drawing others to Your glory.
So that when we see their works,
Our souls turn back to You in appreciation.
Together, we offer our gratitude back to heaven,
And rejoice.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Be sure to check out the other prayers in this series: “For the Gift of Song,” “For the Gift of Words,” “For the Gift of Dance,” “For the Gift of Music,” “For the Gift of Laughter,” “For the Gift of Torah Scholarship” and “For the Joy of Learning.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

 

An Amazing Life

Posted on: June 29th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

Blackbird-sunset-03What makes life amazing? Joy and sorrow, laughter and tears, darkness and light. And the choice to embrace life with a sense of awe and wonder no matter what. This piece appears in my new book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The entire text follows.

An Amazing Life
This is an amazing life,
A gift of moments
Precious and dear,
Profound in joy.
Profound in sorrow.

This is an amazing life,
A gift of moments
Glorious and holy,
Rich in laughter,
Rich with tears.

This is an amazing life,
A gift beyond imagination,
Fantastic stories of solitude and adventure,
Tales of darkness and light,
Psalms of frailty and endurance,
Poetry written in time and motion,
In stillness and silence,
In shouts and whispers,
In mourning and wondrous celebration.
This is an amazing life,
A river of blessings,
A gift to cherish
In awe and wonder.

Blessed are the gifts of life.
Blessed is the Giver of life.
Blessed is this amazing life.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: Here is a link to prayers of and for Thanksgiving.

Please check out my Meet the Author video and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

For the Gift of Laughter

Posted on: June 15th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

Aviano USO TourBeing funny is a gift, a talent, a craft and hard work. Here’s another prayer for the artists who grace our lives, a prayer for the gift of laughter. It follows the same structure in my series of creativity prayers. And it was fun to write. It was fun to use words not typically found in prayers…like “guffaw” and “chuckle.” Even so, it turns out to be a serious prayer about laughter and humor. Don’t be fooled. This is, in truth, a prayer for healing. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

Addendum, Aug. 12, 2014: In Memoriam, Robin Williams, July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014

 

For the Gift of Laughter
G-d, we give thanks for the gift of laughter
For chuckles and guffaws,
For giggles and grins,
For silliness, goofiness
And roll on the floor hysterics.
Hear this prayer for those whose
Wit and wisdom enliven and enlighten our lives.
Let heaven pour enthusiasm and inspiration through them,
So that our lives overflow with celebration.
So that when we laugh our souls turn back to You
In wholeness and thanksgiving.
Together, we offer our renewal back to heaven,
And rejoice.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Be sure to check out the other prayers in this series: “For the Gift of Song,” “For the Gift of Words,” “For the Gift of Dance,” “For the Gift of Art,” “For the Gift of Music,” “For the Gift of Torah Scholarship” and “For the Joy of Learning.” The introduction to “For the Gift of Song” explains the common format for these prayers.

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. If you like this prayer, please post a link to Facebook, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

For the Gift of Music

Posted on: May 12th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

imagesMUSICThis is another in my series of creativity prayers, a short and sweet one about music that has a different focus than my prayer “For the Gift of Song.” That post explains the common framework for these prayers. To listen while you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The entire follows.

For the Gift of Music
G-d, we give thanks for the gift of music,
For horn and flute,
For strings and drums,
For crescendo and staccato,
For the gift that gives our spirits a divine voice.
Hear this prayer for those who write music, arranging sound, seeking beauty.
Hear this prayer for those who play music, creating sound, releasing beauty.
Make their music Your vessel.
Let heaven pour joy and sorrow, love and loss through them
So that they overflow with Your most secret prayers for Your people,
Drawing others to Your blessings.
So that when we hear their music
Our souls turn back to You for shelter.
Together, we offer our voices back to heaven,
And rejoice.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Be sure to check out the other prayers in this series: “For the Gift of Song,” “For the Gift of Words,” “For the Gift of Dance,” “For the Gift of Art,” “For the Gift of Laughter,” “For the Gift of Torah Scholarship” and “For the Joy of Learning.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Source: Keep Calm and Teach English

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