I just got back from my prayer spot. It’s a small cemetery with a sign out front that says “Let Peace Prevail On This Earth” in 9 languages. Peace-a-lujah!
My prayer approach: I quiet down and the sound of internal combustion engines fades into the distance and the rustle of winter leaves is beautiful. There’s a big hawk who sits with me, over my head, still as night.
I ask my counselors to join me. These are people who took the time to be my teachers when they were alive. I imagine them in a circle of unusual chairs that hover in the air half-way up the trees. I say hello to them one by one. First, Kurt Vonnegut, then Christine Stevens, then Sidney Lanier and Roxanne Lanier, then Glenn Gabel and on and on around the circle above the graves.
My counselors have been known to laugh at me and vanish, because like in life they don't suffer fools gladly. When I’m in trouble, like if I was cruel to a friend and I’m sobbing there in the trees, then they always help me. One of them will stand up with her head up in the branches and give me good advice, a hologramic ghost dispensing wisdom - stop feeling sorry for yourself!
Today I thanked them all for the teachings of Lena. The way she and her friend Shanti ran and sledded across the snow yesterday. The way they fell down and went into dreams and then got up laughing and then ran and plunged intensely again, a whirlwind tour de force for hours…
I asked them for that flight in our activism, that bravery and fresh creating-all-the-time and fearlessness. I asked them that in the Stop Shopping Church that we teach this to each other, and demonstrate it in the face of corporate marketers, cops, and bankers...
When I’m finished with my praying then I have a passage back to my life, in a series of steps. First, I put my hands in the air above my head and I use the line between my thumbs like a sling shot and hurl myself up through the branches. I’m flying until New York is the size of a postage stamp below me.
I’m following my hands up into the dark sky and the dark sky at some point turns into dark soil. Then I’m riding a blade of grass up into the sky and the wind is taking the grass and we're swinging up and down in the wind. Earthalujah!
Then I let my arms down and I’m standing on the snow again in Brooklyn, surrounded by the dead. That’s it. Amen. I walk back to the living ones.