A Prayer for Our Times

A Prayer for Our Times[1]

Is it the fourth quarter?  Can there really be just three seconds left on the clock?   … Hail Mary: a cast into the wind on a wing and a prayer.

Not really hope, just unbridled optimism.

I don’t think that’s all I have left but I can’t see the road ahead.  I’m blindfolded, driving a speeding car on a highway that doesn’t seem mine.  For all I know, I’m on the wrong lane; … and my family, my beautiful trusting family is in the car with me, aware there’s a problem but totally sure that I’ll find our way.  Maybe Dad’s just lost again they seem to think, and being a man, … well, you know, the thing about not asking for directions.

Somehow I know I can’t just stop.  I can hear traffic whizzing by me, almost brushing my car.  If I stop I know I’ll get hit.  I remember that not deciding is a decision too.

Somehow I sense the drivers in the other cars are confused as well and the confusion is spreading.  It seems contagious.

So I keep driving, trying to stretch every other sense but the more I focus on any of them, the less they seem to function.  It’s as though something is telling me that primeval instincts from the reptilian kernel at my core are the only ones that can save any of us.  But I can’t bring myself to let go and just trust them.

It occurs to me that faith is like that, blind faith, and despite the blind chaos around me, I take time to ponder, … unlikely though that seems.  Then I wonder if this is one of those dreams I had when I was very young.  Where, daring terror and aware that I was dreaming, I plunged into depths from which I was unsure I could return, willingly facing the hard clasping freezing fists of fear.

As I did then, I fight to waken but sense it’s not the same.  Back then it was like swimming against a strong psychic current from profound depths untouched by light.  This is not so surreal, it’s too much like life gone astray on a wayward path: a path with its own mind which refuses to lie still (the path, the mind or both I wonder as the thought forms?).

Suddenly I start to think of my father, I can’t say why.  My mind just seems to wander in that direction, one so often rutted with introspection and despair.  I needed a father at the beginning of my life, not one to care for at its end, then I see him in the car with my former wife and my three sons, elbowing for better space.  I know I need a father now but not him; I need a real father, not a biological simulacrum.  Or a mother but my mothers have been gone for a long time.  Or a god, or a goddess, or a leader, or anyone to guide me in any way.  I call but no one’s home, the line is busy; anyway, all the circuits seem jammed.

Then I remember I’m the father now, everyone’s father it seems.  Is this what divinity feels?

How the hell did I get here?  Where am I going?  Where are we all going?  Has everyone on this highway lost their way?  Is everyone on this highway now?

[1] © Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Ocala, Florida, December 20, 2008.  All rights reserved.

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