I tend to address my prayers, To Whom it may concern.
I used to not pray at all—for years and years, my entire life, essentially. I remember on the U-Haul trip from New Mexico to North Carolina, my mother told me in some dusty parking lot that when things got really bad, she prayed, and then life, without fail, would start looking up. I didn’t think much of it at the time, though I must’ve said something supportive, because I spent so much of my childhood trying to reassure my Mom that she was understood and loved, but I filed that away for review at some later date. This is that later date, of course—this new year, 2012, in which I resolved to pray, though I never did define what it was I’d be praying to.
The way I think prayer works is by way of mental concentration and effort--not necessarily the grace of some higher being, but the grace of the very human mind, that 90% we are not using at any given time, perhaps.
Wolfman is a shaman. He’s the man on the mountain. He is a reader of runes, and a sage. When I first met him, I found this aspect of his life, his spirituality, to be somewhat annoying, but definitely fascinating, and incredibly perplexing. I was flummoxed. I was intrigued.
And all his magical thinking has worn off on me, perhaps. Or maybe, I was more of an atheist-for-argument's-sake all those years. After all, didn’t I only actually announce myself as an Atheist while in a Biblical Lit class full of freshmen Southern Baptists?
But, as I wrote to Kath once, I found myself, a couple years into my marriage, praying over a dead tree, or what could be described as praying though I did not immediately recognize it as such, and had an epiphany—my part-time Agnosticism had taken such a weird turn.
Weekly now, though not daily as I originally intended, I throw out praise and questions and wants to the universe, the void, or the lack-of-void. I sometimes say, “Mother,” as in Mother Earth or some combination of Maiden, Mother, & Crone. I sometimes say, “Spirits,” because I like the image of ancestral beings and ghosties floating about the atmosphere and listening in, though I don’t believe it as an actuality. Mostly, I find myself simply paying greater attention to what is before me. If I can memorize the exact placement of a freckle on my husband’s ear, I can pay that same amount of respect to trees, to plants of every kind, to which flowers bees and butterflies prefer. In fact, I did not have such an interest in gardening and self-sustainability until I found myself interested in that wishy washy term, Spiritualism. Or maybe vice versa. I’m still figuring it out, of course. But never have I been so aware of the passing of seasons and days and moons. And, no, I don’t believe in an afterlife as such. But, I do believe in breathing on growing things, saying kind words to my seedlings—it’s scientific, really, that exchange of gases. But it’s more than that, isn’t it, I ask myself, still unsure.