Isabel Lilian Turner
26 October 1914 – 12 January 2011
The last of the ancient aunties has been fittingly farewelled. It was a small, simple, and serene funeral. Dying at 96 of plain weariness after a healthy creative life was cause for celebration and joy, yet we felt the quiet ache of her absence as well.
Included in the service was the recitation of The Lord’s Prayer, a mainstay and inspiration for so many souls. As I recited the lines I couldn’t help but inwardly offer up a different version, one that I learned many years ago. It’s a rendition from the Aramaic language, the tongue spoken by Jesus himself.
The version that we know as The Lord’s Prayer has been through the grist of Greek and the labyrinths of Latin before being translated into English, with all the modifications inherent in such a winding pathway. The shift, from a song of praise and supplication addressed to a matriarchal source of Life, to a patriarchal prayer, happened somewhere along the way.
Because Aramaic is a language that – like most indigenous languages – allows for many different possibilities to be present simultaneously, there are many different renditions. They are like subtly different perfumes given off by a single glorious flower.
I came away from the funeral with a little project – to post as many versions from the Aramaic as I can find, or gain permission to publish.
Perhaps you have a favorite version you’d like to contribute?
O cosmic Birther of all radiance and matter!
Soften the ground of our being and carve out a space within us where Your Presence can abide.
Fill us with your creativity so that we may be empowered to bear the fruit of Your mission.
Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with our desire.
Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to grow and flourish.
Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us, as we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes.
Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our true purpose, but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For You are the ground and the fruitful vision, the birth-power and fulfillment, as all is gathered and made whole once again.