I pray by rote. The words so familiar, so imbedded within me. I jump in the river of prayer, letting the current take me along as the words sweep me away.
I pray in poetry and I pray in prose. In images that are created in economy of words or in words piled on words. The rhythm, the sound, and the patterns carry my hopes and dreams.
I pray in music. Eyes closed. My body, like an instrument, resonates to the sound – the melody, the harmony. This is the prayer that brings me to tears.
I pray in craft. Knitting hats for newborns. Making quilts for Veterans. My hands say: “welcome to this sacred community.” They say, “Thank you for what you did, the things you saw, the experiences that still live within you.”
I pray in art. Looking at the masters – their use of color and shadow, of line and form. How do a few simple lines make a face? How does shape become substance? And I look at the world and try to sketch it or try to capture a moment in a photograph. Just this fading flower, those hands that I love, this time and place.
I pray while driving. I notice the cycle of time. I watch as the trees bud neon green, as the bright green turns dark, as the red and copper appear, as the empty branches stand stark against a gray, wintery sky. I see the unexpected rainbow above the road. I marvel at the changes in the sky, hour-by-hour, day-by-day. I catch my breath at moments of transcendence.
I pray at the bedsides of the dying. I sit silently and listen to their breathing. I lay on hands and bless them. I pray for God to take them home. I pray for one more day, one more voyage, one more adventure. I pray for them to be reunited with those they have loved who have gone before them. I pray in the words of their faith and I pray in the words of mine.