Just Like A Prayer

Women outside screamed and I felt dead in my head. I turned in the terrible bed, in the still night still willing sleep. Whichever way I turned I was there. Singing along to the song of thoughtless thought. Thoughts like lichen on sea-battered rock. Desperate, desolate 4am thoughts trying to force into that blank new forever paragraph.

I got up. I decided to write a prayer. I was trying to muster optimism for the new day. Write a prayer for tomorrow. A list of hopes.

I do not believe in an entity that grants wishes. This would have to be a kind of secular prayer. I wrote in that twilight with some clarity.

What became clear was that I was writing to myself. My present, past, and future. That through acknowledging and articulating these hopes I might influence future action. Just like a course correction.

[If I did have a secular prayer that I said every night, what might it be?

Dear God Fate Chance Fortune…

May I be healthy and loved May my body bear me thru new adventures, may I never be too afraid – but feel the braveness that builds with one’s past bravenesses. May my brain and wits be sharp tomorrow – could I wake up bright, not sluggish!

May I meet those with whom I might find mutual wonders, and may I have the strength and braveness to love them and be open to them.

May I find reserves in me to love everyone and everything.

May my loved ones be safe and know without doubt that I love them.

May the world be sometimes quietly gigantic enormous.

May I be surprised and open to surprises. May I be humble* and never be so far from understanding ACKNOWLEDGING my ignorance, limited perspective, ravenous ego and self centered fear.

May I always have eyes for the truth.

Gods, fates, fortunes, random winds of chaos, may I experience my fair share of love, affection and friendship and in turn be a conduit of human compassion.]

Life is a mystery
Everyone must stand alone
I hear you call my name
And it feels like home

When you call my name it’s like a little prayer
I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there
In the midnight hour I can feel your power
Just like a prayer you know I’ll take you there

I close my eyes
Oh God I think I’m falling
Out of the sky, I close my eyes
Heaven help me

It’s like a dream
No end and no beginning
You’re here with me it’s like a dream
Let the choir sing


*Whilst I stand by the virtue of humility with oneself (humility precluding the conditions in which one can “Know thyself”), I’ve long been in two minds on the virtue of humbleness. I wonder if the state of our world requires great extravagances of defiance and demonstrations of self-worth and self-respect? A great many people suffer under oppressive systems which the humbleness, submissiveness and meekness of the oppressed can only serve. There’s the possibility of asserting your self-love as a political act and yet remaining humble in ones relations with oneself and loved ones. So to clarify, I would rewrite this as “May I be with myself humble…”

2nd March

Just got home from teaching it’s 5:48 pm and the window to my left is showing cool blue Spring light turning green and in the mid parts a big clear new sky for it is Spring, season of change and new life and always I forget the feeling fresh in my head of rising wonder the leaf of my brain unfurling into this new language of plenty light and overflow – you must know the earth turns through initial wonders and we are spinning ever outward through god’s first act; heat curiosity and love of being v abysmal void.

I drink my beer cold and ballistic and want to salute from my soul the fact I am alive to all this I even walked down streets away from home just to see and be and lost myself from the homing pigeon notions of ‘get home and eat and unburden’ just to S E E more and B E more at one with this vibrating born-just-now-this-instant city we call London. If I could I would I would bundle you all of you into my car my coach my jet my dreamings and set off up to some sparkling dumb Dionysian cloud world of three thousand day alcohol stories of the very best vintage and break up with every single one of you just to reconvene in earnest and relearned love beneath the boughs of yellow disco light and hold together in a circle centre our hands and gaily love the very institution of friendship like literature children and we would step to Mexico and Peru like giants and return snug and bloody blistered in time for Rome, Madrid, Berlin and Paris which we would roll up in pancakes and eat with chocolate and chase with rum, sleeping then, with rest a form of weather, in the clouds of Lhasa or Bhutan, or Kathmandu, whisper each other, ‘so you are sleeping too..?’ and echo laughs all through Himalayan angles to the delight of night’s tiger; forever close, forever closer.

Would we in this dream, dream further? And higher and greater and of worlds akin but adrift, and would we in those dreams also fall asleep and etcetera? It is so totally not only my privilege but my right to affirm it likely.