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overhead in the cosmos, some call it heaven.  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 foundations and my upbringing, if you must assign blame.  The cadence of speech reserved just for evangelists and Southern Baptist preachers remains in my psyche along with their words which filled my young head full of dark and fearful images.  Over the years I have shed and rejected much, if not most, of the hell-and-brimstone rhetoric.  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 ousted myself from religious faith before God could.  My pre-emptive strike.  This ousting stemmed from my ‘coming out.’  My chosen lifestyle included consorting (carnally and in other meaningful ways) with women.  At the time, I believed that God put in special earplugs when prayers from sinners such as my lesbian-identified sorry soul floated into His heavenly earshot. 

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 was not and is not ‘my father’s religion.’  Through the years my faith has grown and receded, swelled and run dry.  Prayer, however, remains faithful, not straying far from my 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 iridescent green of a hummingbird’s tiny bird body,

when the rain drops ping and bounce, hard, off of my 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 life without prayer – it is a balm and a comfort to me.  I am grateful to claim prayer as a touchstone, a cornerstone in my life.

This morning I prayed for the ability to let go of the comparison game of intelligence and for the ability to be positive about my disser.  I prayed for the ability to feel how lucky I am.

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