I no longer pray— now I drink dark chocolate and let the moon sing to me.
I no longer pray— I let my ancestors dance through my hips at the slightest provocation.
I no longer pray— I go to the river and howl my ancient pain into the current.
I no longer pray— I ache, I desire, I say “yes” to my longing.
I no longer pray as I was taught but as the stars crawl onto my lap like soft animals at nighttime and God tucks my hair behind my ears with the gentle fingers of her wind and a new intimacy is uncovered in everything, perhaps it’s that I’m finally learning how to pray.
Down near the bottom of the crossed-out list of things you have to do today, between “green thread” and “broccoli,” you find that you have penciled “sunlight.”
Resting on the page, the word is beautiful. It touches you as if you had a friend and sunlight were a present he had sent from someplace distant as this morning—to cheer you up, and to remind you that,
among your duties, pleasure is a thing that also needs accomplishing.
Do you remember? that time and light are kinds of love, and love is no less practical than a coffee grinder or a safe spare tire?
Tomorrow you may be utterly without a clue, but today you get a telegram from the heart in exile, proclaiming that the kingdom still exists, the king and queen alive, still speaking to their children,
—to any one among them who can find the time to sit out in the sun and listen.
“One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice — though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. “Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voice behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do — determined to save the only life that you could save.”