A Prayer

What is a prayer
A hopeful plea for someone to care
Something or someone
That’s bigger than everything else out there

A request for help
A feeling that we are in control
Softly pulling the invisible strings
Addressed to a God we cannot know
A mysterious force
Reliquished to the void
That manages all things

A comfort in a sea of insecurities
A negotiation for our impurities
A twisting of God’s arm
Despite the selfish nature of prayer
We mean no harm

We pray for our team to win
For something to remove our sins
For a clear day
For our sickness to go away
Prayers so deep and insignificant
Almost fully prepared to repent

A universal drawing of strings
A selected day to receive blessings
What of a prayer that helps one
And harms the rest
Some of are surely cursed
While the others are blessed
I suppose we are all just trying to do our best

Maybe I don’t know how to pray
I think I believe in something
But I don’t know what to say
To get what I want
To tip the Universe’s favor my way

I’ve tried with my eyes closed
Standing still, laying down
Walking around
Even on my knees, on the ground
If my prayers are heard
Who knows, who believes

I do know how to cry and sweat and scream
I do know how to fantasize and dream
I do know how to let go
I do know how to admit that I don’t know

Who do you pray to
Is there something special I have to do
I pray to the grass, to the sun
I scream my desires to the mountain
I forget my problems when I run
When to push myself to go far away
Just to make it through another day
When I swim in the ocean
Let the music and waves move me to fun
When I finally allow myself to play

Have you ever laid in the fresh summer grass
Let the sun beat down on your face
Beads of sweat rolling down
Knowing you will burn if you stay in that place
Not caring, letting the bugs crawl on your skin
Savoring the space, taking it in
The sweet smell of flowers, the summer season
Letting the clouds and time pass
To get up and begin again

Is that a prayer?

What do you pray for
Do you wish upon a star
Send a message to sea
To help you on your journey

You tell me to will pray for me
But I don’t want your prayers
I want kindness and empathy
Can you listen without a prayer
Listen to the Universe if you dare
Don’t offer a prayer of judgement
Don’t offer a prayer to have something to say
Your prayers won’t help me anyway

Is silence a prayer
Maybe awareness is the only thing out there
Have you ever sat for hours in meditation
So long you can feel your body, your hair
So long that your become intently aware
Of energy, of feeling, of the world that’s unfair

Have you ever run in the rain
Have you ever fully embraced your pain
Have you ever loved so deeply
That you will never be the same
Have you ever loved someone different from you
Proving our silly biases untrue

What will a prayer change?

There are billions of voices that must be heard
Hundreds of languages
In which prayers are offered
Certainly no one is favored
We are all trying to make it in this crazy world

Wether prayer is fact or fiction
Belief is the only thing that makes a difference
Claiming your space in this broad expanse
A belief that maybe you have a chance

If you believe it works then it is so
It doesn’t matter where your prayer will go
It doesn’t matter if it happens quick or slow
Keep praying so the world will know
You exist, you matter

Azola

I had already taught 2 classes, been bitten by a slobbery baby, gotten my hair pulled, braided, and tied in knots, and it’s my last kids yoga class of the day- I’m out. I finally get all the kiddos to make a circle (ten minutes later) when I feel a little hand grabbing my leg. I go to brush the hand away so I could teach, a little annoyed, and then saw the culprit. Continue reading “Azola”

East Side, West Side

When you enter Langa Township, the first thing you see is a brand new public housing complex that is quite nice. The government has stepped in and replaced settler communities with new public housing. 50% of the housing for Cape Town residents and 50% for migrants from the East. At first I didn’t understand the dynamics of this, but it became clear as I made my way through Langa.

Continue reading “East Side, West Side”

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