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Long Beach, CA

Everything is a Type of Prayer

I had an experience at church 
As I stood in the back of the room to be, for a moment, a man
With no responsibilities on hand, no weight to be some "man of God"
(Which I’m not, so it worked out well
Just a man, which is the only way anything could be of God, anyhow)
And suddenly, strangely, 
I felt electric energy, physically, racing over me
It rested on my senses like a spilling over of eternity 

There was a woman touched Jesus, once, and he turned and said, 
“Power just went out of me"
It was something like that: I knew I was in the love of God

And all through this week, as I read my children’s book, which ground me 
in humility, 
I felt the same sense of energy, from a place of love,speaking from beyond, above
Though I am no saint, I know the holy nod of God’s always-saying-yes love

The contemplatives tell us to close our eyes and find the place beyond words 
Where prayer holds back the stream of mind,
Even if it only slows our we-think-we-understand-thinking down a bit, like a sheet holding back a wave of water, that’s something still

It helps to hold your breath, too,
And to slowly notice how your breathing goes, like balloons falling into the sky 
Because God is always breathing in God’s self, beyond the aching hows and whys  
God is always there, breathing rest
God Himself always sighing 

Breathe it all in, then, 
The mystery
And now your body can taste it, before your mind:
Every book, every poem and song, strong and standing in the sun
Which is the breath of God holding the same energy
God always aware of everything
Ever in joy and sorrow
Always ever crucified, always resurrected

I feel even in this moment of writing, all this wonder, bright and sad,
Like I felt the cold air in Maine
When the heat could barely muster itself against the coming winter
And there was nothing more beautiful that the brutality all around us
As the autumn stood still in its crisp burning, like a woman blazing at the height of beauty
With no fear of wrinkles or of grave to come, welcoming all into her holy hands
Welcoming all the stars that are held by God like tender hearts
These tender hearts engraved with never-ending hope