Today is a day to pray. But then again, yesterday was a good time to do it too. And tomorrow? Most certainly, I will need to pray tomorrow. And the day after....
Some people don't use the word "prayer." Some might say, "my thoughts are with you." That is a prayer too, or at least like a prayer in it's intention -- to give love with caring sincerity. Lately I sit in the quiet of night or the enormity of morning to hold the pain and suffering of another or others. I've practiced Tonglen meditation enough to be able to move myself quickly from self pity (however justified) to compassion (which is, for me, a spiritual mandate). Some days are better than others.
I use the word prayer because I pray. I also meditate. I must do this because to not do this, does me in. I don't meditate or pray to feel or be strong. I do it to access humility and my oath of goodness for the world. Sometimes the world is in the broken relationships in my family tree. Sometimes the world is the person whose picture is thrust in our e-faces. Sometimes the world is the child who didn't decide to be born yet who inherits the pain and suffering of those who raise them. Sometimes the world is me because I want to be useful. If my own suffering -- whatever it is -- prevents me from being useful, then I am a victim.
I heard once, in no place and at no time in particular, that we don't choose to be a victim but we do choose to remain one. For those who are prone to overwhelm, like I am, I have to embrace this. I have to. Otherwise I would never have enough clarity or courage to walk to the corner sub shop, to hop on a bus, or drive my car. I am a woman and have an array of choices to keep myself safe. I have inherited and subsequently collected enough common sense to not test the culture of egregious sexism or misogyny. Still, I cannot escape it entirely. Hardly. Everyday I am reminded of who I am and what I'm not. Every day. I could be a target of harm. Anyone can. I will not hide at home.
We hear, "please pray for me. Please think of me. Please send me good vibes." Whatever your word is, how is it that you make sure that it's not just an impotent word bomb? How do you make yourself clear that you care?
If you don't care? Hmmm. Okay, here is a hybrid prayer/thought for you:
In the name of god, light, love, and all of existence,
in the spirit of understanding and connection,
I hold out my hand to you.
Please take my hand.
Please, take my hand.
I don't know much
and I don't know nothing.
I don't have much
and I don't have nothing.
I know that you have a lot.
It is my belief that you do.
It is my belief that we all. have. something.
Don't you see?
This is our chance to discover!
We can draw lines in the sand,
but we know the wind will whip them away.
We can build walls to the sky,
and we must know that the wildlife will revolt.
If you take my hand we could meet in the middle, but not for long.
Soon we'd have to get more hands to hold in order to create a center.
It's the middle, the center of a space,
that does and will define us.
It's the middle that makes a vessel fine and worthy.
It's a middle that celebrates the variations of whatever or whoever created it.
It's the middle that always creates a whole that is more than the sum of its parts.
It's the middle, the space in between us, where we find ultimate purpose, meaning, and a chance to celebrate.
We love to celebrate.
Maybe there is a field around us.
Maybe there is unconscionable wreckage.
But it can be a middle,
a space in between us,
where we can meet.
Then we could ask the first question,
How we will feed each other -- healthy, fine, and fair?