some say the heavens. All I know is – prayer occupies an important place in my life; my every day life. Blame it on my adoptive family’s ultraconservative fundamentalist religious (organized religion that is) upbringing, if you must assign blame.

Over the years I have shed and rejected much, if not most, of the hell-and-brimstone rhetoric spewed from the preachers’ mouths who stood behind the Sunday morning (Sunday evening and Wednesday night) pulpit. I have, however, held onto the prayer thing.

There were some years in my late teens and twenties when I even let go of prayer. Actually, it was more like I believed even more in the ousting of myself from God because of my chosen lifestyle which included consorting (carnally and in other much more meaningful ways) with women. I felt sullied. I believed that God put in special earplugs when prayers from sinners such as my lesbian-identified soul were spoken.

During those years of prayer-less-ness, I felt bereft; alone in the Universe so to speak – or not to speak, in prayers at least.

Somewhere along the way I woke up

grew up

reframed renamed

and reclaimed

my faith. As the saying goes my newfangled spirituality wasn’t (and isn’t) “my father’s religion.” Through the years my faith has grown and/or receded depending on what I’ve placed at the head of the line, importance if you will, in my life. Prayer, however, never strays far from the center hub.

I pray when things are rough, when I need direction,

when life is going smoothly, when I am happy,

when I am reminded of my love for my familia,

when I catch a glimpse of the shimmery green of a hummingbird’s tiny bird body,

when the rain drops ping and bounce, hard, off of the west facing skylight,

when I feel grateful for a particular moment in my life, when sadness and grief threaten to sweep me down a river of tears,

when I cannot forgive someone – especially myself,

when I am swirled up and on the hamster-wheel of circular worries and what-if’s, when I crave inner peace and cannot find it on my own,

when I lose faith in my own abilities to cope, when I stand in the reality of needing help,

when I am madder than hell and want to scream so loud that a mountain cracks open,

when I see the depths of human suffering, when I have acted in shameful ways,

when I remember and return to my center. I pray.

Prayer is a constant in my life. Now at the age of 50 I cannot imagine my life without prayer. Prayer is a balm and a comfort to me and I am grateful to claim it as a touchstone in my life.

Yesterday and this morning I have prayed for the ability to let go of my comparison game of my intelligence. I have prayed for the ability to be positive about my disser. I prayed for the ability to step into my hard earned wisdom when it comes to my disser topic. I prayed for the ability to feel how lucky I am.