I Know Exactly What Prayer Is.

My fountain pen scrawl, done in 15 minutes in response to ‘The Summer Day,’ by Mary Oliver
My reading of the scrawl above and the readable text below

I know exactly what prayer is.

I don’t know who made all this. Who set the ball rolling, or why. I think about it often – like whenever I’m not doing anything else. So, if I’m not translating or washing up or working out, I think about what the point is and why we are here. Not just humans, either – any of us – birds, trees, sky, the hippie triptych.

I look at buildings and roads and I’m amazed that these things were built by people. The recent manifestations of people have only suggested robbery and destruction, with little room for the application and organisation that civil engineering and architecture and construction require. Perhaps hope lies hidden in buildings and roads.

But I don’t know, or even suspect what any of this is about. The human brain has been described as the most mysterious three pounds of matter in the universe. Sure, but the canine brain is the one that we should respect. Any being that can do what dogs do to people deserves respect. Dogs know stuff.

But I don’t know much.

So, it’s a bit of a claim to say I know exactly what prayer is, but I do – for me. Prayer is self-talk, hoping someone eavesdrops, and that someone is a benevolent force.

Prayer is talk therapy with no one else, entered into with the faith that something good could come of it, one day.

Prayer is personal. It doesn’t need to be explained, much less defended or even talked about. I don’t know who made all this, but I know it was made. What else do we need to know?

I’m not sure but I have a couple of dogs who look like they got it cracked a long time ago.


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