Prayer is where you find it

PRESS PLAY:

Sometimes my prayers show up in montage.  Visuals flicker against my closed lids like an old movie.  Frames cut from the reel, falling to the floor.  

Maybe it’s an LA thing.  Or maybe its a way to rush through what I instinctively feel should be deep and slow – But you know, whatever…

Or maybe its simply that prayers need no elucidation.  I am sure prayers are released in thoughtless silence, or scented candles, or in pure tonality.

One night in my 20’s, long before I was ready, I found myself in a candle-lit, cavernous room, smokey with Champa, and echoing with meditative Oms.  Instead of finding the warmth and purpose I was told would be mine, I felt drugged and an unexpected, terrifying sense of letting go.  

A few times in college, I was asked to pray with a super-friendly group of white folks who offered me a free vegetarian meal.  And once, I took them up on it.

I instinctively asked a friend to pray with me only once, and meant it.  I hoped that, like war buddies, sharing in desire and spirit could result in something pure.  Like gratitude.  Or forgiveness.  Or love.
More often than not,
You want whatever’s not in front of you

Deep down I know this includes me too.

I have felt the spent prayer of the homeless guy who blesses me for stopping to look him in the eye.  And then there is my silent prayer for him, all wrapped up in goodness and guilt.  

I thought that we’d be
Further along by now
I can’t remember how
We stumbled to this place

It might be truth or fear that taunts me now, insisting that prayer is keeping me sane.  And yet, it’s in those technicolor, spliced-up visions no one else can see, that is where my faith lies.

~with champa-scented love, jrb

 

Long Lost Brother, by Over The Rhine
I thought that we’d be
Further along by now
I can’t remember how
We stumbled to this place

I loved you like a long lost brother
On a bad day maybe I thought why bother
I’ve seldom seen so much anger
In a face

I wanna do better
I wanna try harder
I wanna believe
Down to the letter

Jesus and Mary
Can you carry us
Across this ocean
Into the arms of forgiveness

I don’t mean to laugh outloud
I’m trying to come clean
Trying to shed my doubt
Maybe I should just keep
My big mouth shut

More often than not
When it comes to you
You want whatever’s not in front of you
Deep down I know this includes me too

So tell me your troubles
Let your pain rain down
I know my job I’ve been around
I invest in the mess
I’m a low cost dumping ground

Trouble is I’m so exhausted
The plot, you see, I think I’ve lost it
I need the grace to find what can’t be found

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