I want to speak in a way that used to be easy for me as a child: silently, intensely, embracing the mysteries. I want to pray. It is a matter of remembering, after so long, just how.
But somewhere along the way, I’d stopped truly praying. Indeed, I wasn’t so sure about God at all. The matter seemed irrelevant. I was too busy.
The biggest fight I ever had with my father was shortly after I turned 21, when, drunk on a bottle of whiskey a friend had given me for my birthday, I proclaimed myself an atheist. He followed me into the backyard, and outraged, pinned me against the fence. His parents had fled Eastern Europe because of their beliefs. Who was I to dismiss them? I expressed my contempt for all that was conventional. His faith, I told him, was a crutch. An opiate. I had heard that somewhere before.
In the decades that followed, awed by time’s extremes – becoming a parent, losing a parent — and feeling my own mortality, I eventually found my way back to believing, but for a long time not with the same fervor.
How do you pray?