I am sad. I don't want to say why. In fact, I am pretty much afraid to say anything today. Sometimes, people take it upon themselves to to help bloggers out by, um, voicing their opinions in the comments of a particular post. Even worse, when a post gets shared on one of the bigger sharing sites, it can get attacked by the anonymous trolls who seem to thrive under the dank and rotting logs strewn across the fetid underbelly of the web itself. I hate them. That is the reason I will probably never be published on one of the megasites that republish blog posts and memes and all of that, without, I might add, compensating - and often not even giving credit to - the creator of the content.
This is also why, to be honest, I will never have more than a couple hundred followers and such a low volume of "hits" on this page.
Do I care? Not after this week, not after seeing a man I respect weep in frustration because something important he wrote was attacked. I've seen it a number of times. It's ugly. I can't tell you the details, because it would embroil me in the very fire of hatred I am so trying to avoid.
I came as close to closing this thing down as I have ever come this week. I mentioned it and then Jack - beautiful, irreverent, sacred, kind, prolific, tender, insane Jack - said this to me: "Please don't quit, part of how we hold down the fort is by being here and writing our stories. And we are all part of this community, if you quit because you feel like you have said all you have to say that is one thing, but not because of this."
I've mentioned in the past that I pray a lot. I guess this could certainly seem pious. I get that. It could also imply that I am a hopeless sinner. Yeah, I am. I could come across as holier-than-thou. I ain't. Do I pray so I can tell you that I pray? Maybe, a little.
Listen, I pray because the alternative sucks. You may think the alternative is not-praying, but, that's not so. The opposite of prayer to God - a god, the god, the gods, Her, Him, Them - the opposite of that is prayer to self. That don't work. Trust me. I am not my ultimate power; I am not my supreme being.
Henri Nouwen wrote: To pray, I think, does not mean to think about God in contrast to thinking about other things, or to spend time with God instead of spending time with other people. Rather, it means to think and live in the presence of God. All our actions must have their origin in prayer. Praying is not an isolated activity; it takes place in the midst of all the things and affairs that keep us active. In prayer a "self-centred monologue" becomes a "God-centred dialogue.
He took and long beat and looked into my soul, which was laid bare to him.
In all fairness, I should tell you who I am praying for when I fumble across the wooden touchstone in my pocket. Yes, it is a specific person, a person I love deeply, so deeply I will pray always for them and it is you, and you... and you.
" All our actions must have their origin in prayer."