“Just outrun the demons, could you?” – Frank Ocean, Bad Religion
I do and I don’t know what to make of it, because I feel like a hypocrite. But I only do it when I’m at my most scared or my most fearful … and my most vulnerable. I don’t know what to do with that because it really does not align with anything that I’ve said all day today, yet I still find myself doing that. – Kyle Simpson in NPR’s On Religion, Some Young People Show Both Doubt And Respect
I’ve prayed several times over the last month. Any time I hear a siren, I take a moment to think, “may they reach their destination in time and may those in need have it.” When I know I’m powerless to change someone else’s condition, I pray they find comfort, serenity, joy, and strength. I prayed for all those moved by the passing of my father-in-law sending out both a kind of spiritual hug and thoughts of gratitude for those who sought to ease the pain for those I love so dearly. I prayed for myself. For a good night’s sleep. For empathy. For solace.
I didn’t pray to a g-d, though. At least, I don’t see it that way. I refer you back to Faith. I prayed because I believe our thoughts matter. I prayed because I do feel a connectedness and rhythm to the life and that maybe, just maybe, good thoughts, strong thoughts, powerful thoughts can nudge us all a little more towards right. In some previous location of my writing, I’ve mentioned a gift from my friend, Michelle: The Book of Jewish Values by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. The very first lesson is what to do when Hearing a Siren. I think about it daily. We love by what we do to and for others but we also love by recognizing that we are all linked.
In the last two weeks, I’ve been reminded in the best ways of this connection. No matter the differences in beliefs, I felt akin to those grieving with me. Appreciative. Sympathetic.
And so I prayed.