Posts Tagged ‘wayne muller’

On Prayer

for Mark Primavesi
Prayer is what happens when we listen, and wait, beneath words, for the outline of heaven and earth to emerge.
            —Wayne Muller, “Nourished by Prayer”
Today prayer is the silence
in the snow-deep meadow.
It’s the gurgle of the ice-choked river
that cannot be heard unless
I am completely still. Today,
prayer is not to, it’s not for,
it’s something I am
more than something I do.
Prayer is even the sound
of the logging trucks on the highway
as they brake rounding the corner.
It’s the rapid shush, shush, shush
of my skis in the track as I climb the hill.
It’s the sizzle of onions in the oil.
It’s the hitch in my breath before I cry.
I’m astonished, today, to find
there is nothing that isn’t prayer
when I am aware it’s an invitation
to be completely here, to open;
it’s a call to meet it all
with the love that asks nothing from me
except that I give it and receive it.
Every single thing can be prayer.
Even the siren blaring by.
Even my own familiar voice
as I listen into the silences
for whatever words come next.

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To live a day, to care for a single day, is to shape a life. Each day is an opportunity to choose where to place our care. What shall we do today? What simple acts of remembrance will we use to punctuate our time and enrich our walk upon the earth this single day?

—Wayne Muller, How, Then, Shall We Live?



How many kindnesses did I miss today?

How many chances to help another

did I walk past, my eyes somehow fixed


already around the corner? How much beauty

went unnoticed? How much joy left

unspent? I am like the hiker at the foot


of the mountain who wanders in the fog,

not noticing the fog circles only the base. If I chose

to climb just a little, I’d see how red cliffs reflect


afternoon sun, see how new snow

catches in the trees and makes of each limb

a masterpiece. How is it I am not in


a constant state of wonder? Even

the fog gathers the pink of morning,

makes a practice of softening each


surface it touches. So simple,

the art of choosing to pay attention,

a sidewalk not so different in this regard


from a mountain. Every face a chance

to fall in love. Every human story

an opportunity to listen, to place our care.

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