Thursday, February 10, 2011

A morning prayer

"Days pass and years vanish, and we sleep-/walk blind/ among miracles."

A line from a poem of Alan Shapiro, the invocational poem to his volume Tantalus In Love.

Invocation. A prayer opening a religious service.

The years pass. Indeed. Seventy-four years. How much, I wonder, have I missed. Sleepwalking. Blind.

"Love, fill our eyes/ all up with seeing."

How many days, hours, minutes pass when I do not see? Do not see that every jot and tittle of creation is crying out to be seen, is begging notice. Attention, said Malebranche, is the highest form of prayer.

"Make us see/ no matter where/ we gaze that the bush burns/ unconsumed."

We should be on our knees. In the grass. At the seashore. In adoration of the ant that crawls just now -- just now! -- across my desk. On our knees. Singing hosannas.

Make us see. Peel the scales of ordinariness from my eyes. Let me see that nothing is ordinary. That everything burns.

"How filled with awe// this place is, and we did not know it."