A Prayer to This Toddler Who is Throwing a Tantrum Outside Dunkin Donuts

Make a fracas, Little Rabble-Rouser:

There are times, I guess, when you have to "grow up,"
And cry quietly in your room, and check your indignation,
Because we are "civilized" "people" who "don't" "do" "such" "things."

But this morning, as a proud racist is named head of our country's department of "justice,"
I'm with you and your no-holds-barred fury.

Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day,
And all you want is a little something to eat.
So, while we're all on starvation diet:
Scream.

Amen

A Prayer for Coming Out Every Day

God of Closet-Crushing:

They now come for the Muslims and the immigrants, because these are the easiest, laziest steps.
(They're not even steps.
They require no new thinking or movement,
No new hate,
Nothing beyond staying huddled inside a shrinking closet.)

They now depend on everyone else staying in their own closets. 

But coming out of the closet pumps queerly through our veins. 
And the question for us is no longer "When did you come out?"
It's "How are you coming out, right now, today?
And for whom?"

Closets feed on silence.
Feed us, Queer Spirit, with never-ending noise.

Amen

A Prayer to a Metaphor

Beloved Symbol of Reassurance:

Don’t let me cling to you too tightly.
You balance perfectly on the edge of being an idol,
And idols are what got us into this mess in the first place.

You’re like a safety pin,
So easily forgotten on my lapel,
Unless I leave you open,
So your sharper point
Continually pokes my skin,
And wakes me back up again.

Amen

A Prayer to Artists, One Week In

A PRAYER TO ARTISTS, ONE WEEK IN

Dear Curious and Creative Potential Prophets:

We’re ready for you.

Let’s be clear:
Art doesn’t immediately change things.
We have to wrap our brains around that,
Lest we get too full of ourselves.
Art doesn’t stop violence, or erase pain,
Or eradicate evil.
It doesn’t turn back time or protect bodies.

Art doesn’t do big things,
And that’s why no one will freaking sustainably fund it.
Art is actually a very small thing that does very small things.
It’s a gathering of tiny revolutions that sustains the larger ones.
Its power comes from being miniscule and undetectable.

Art doesn’t stop the violence, but it starts the questioning of violence.
Art doesn’t erase the pain, but it names the pain.
Art doesn’t eradicate evil, but it tells the queer stories of another way.
It stops time and protects souls, because its power is microscopic,
And the Empire only knows how to deal with things it thinks it sees.

You will start to create something today, because you feel galvanized,
And then you will hate it tomorrow,
And then you will think you have nothing to offer,
And then you will stop creating for a few days,
And then something teensy will spark,
And then the whole cycle will start again.
This is the reality of tiny things in a world that only responds to gigantic, blustery, bloated things.
This is the plight of prophecy. And it truly sucks.

But my cat just jumped on this keyboard and typed out this:
nngggggggt
And if my cat, who stays pretty apolitical most days,
Is taking this opportunity to use the devastation of this week
And create something out of it,
I can only imagine the astonishing things you have up your sleeves.

Amen

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Gwen Ifill

Greedy Universe:

The soul dust that is flowing back into your hands today is some of the most integrity-filled, warmly-wise, fiercely-feminine stuff we've got to give. 

You'd better still have the mold and you'd better send back ten thousand variations of her to make up for this soulless crapheap of a year. 

And, while you're at it, send back a few Bowies, Princes, and Cohens. The press and the arts are clearly under attack. 

We pray she's interrogating the heaven out of you. 

Amen

A Prayer for Those Who Aren't Talking to Some Someones They Love Right Now and Feel Awful About It

Beautiful agitated agitators:

Sometimes activism isn't just on the streets or on a petition or on a Live Feed or even on the rest of the world's radar at all.

Sometimes it's just a firm "No" offered to someone to whom you've always said "Yes."

Sometimes it's a very private protest, one that no one else might immediately understand, because no one else has an inkling of just how much history you are working against, just how many years of affection you are putting into question, just how awkward the pauses and how painful the silences and how irrevocable the severings feel. 

This is activism.
And your "No" is the most loving "Yes" these people can hear right now.

Amen

A Prayer for the End of Day Three

Rabble-rousing God of Surprises:

On this day of noxious normalization,
Thank you for the queer spirit of Harry Reid.

Amen

A Prayer for the Start of Day Three

Spirit of Sustained Sadness:

My faith tradition tells me that wonderful things happen on the third day.
On Day Three, Resurrection overcomes crucifixion,
Life overcomes death,
Community overcomes empire,
Patience overcomes evil.

This is why I’ve tried to be anything but Christian for so long.
I can’t do simple math, when it feels this inauthentic.

I am surrounded by people who have been suffocated by Days One and Two for centuries.
And now, they see my shock in the face of so much hate and say,
“Well, of course you’re shocked.
You’ve been having a ball on Day Three your entire life.
Welcome to Golgotha. This is where the real shit hangs.”

Don’t let me leave Golgotha too soon, because I know I can.
The complacent celebration of Day Three is always available to me, because I’m me.
Leave me on Golgotha until I know how we all get down from it.

Amen

A Prayer to This Chair

My more orthodox side might scoff at the thought
Of me praying to an inanimate object,
But, while everything else is getting smashed to bits,
I might as well smash some old idols of appropriateness
And find some new practices.

I confess: I don’t want to do anything.
My usual God tells me to talk and walk.
I don’t want to talk and I definitely don’t want to walk.
I want to sit here, in you,
Because, right now, you feel more comforting than any idol I’ve ever known.

Did you know that one of my closest relatives
Betrayed me and those I love with a vote?
Did you know that I feel like
Something between us died at that moment,
And that I don’t know if it will ever thrive again?
I want you to tell me that there’s an explanation for this,
That there’s a way that generosity and love
Are still alive somewhere inside this.
But you stay silent, and don’t move, and just hold me.
Makes sense: You’re inanimate.
And you don’t have a soul that can be crushed.

But in your stillness, I feel something like a soul.
Because you are doing exactly what I need right now.
You are not rallying me.
You are not cheerleading.
You are not telling me I am right.
You are not nodding and Yes-ing.
You are radiating soulfulness in the way you know how:
By being big and soft
And perfectly-sized for curling myself up into a ball.

I hope I don’t sit forever. I know I won’t.
I’m a talker and I’m a walker and I’ll be both again.
But, right now, I’m a sitter.
And, as a sitter, you feel like the closest God I’ve ever had.

Amen

A Prayer for a Dance Party the Next Day

Creative Hands of the Universe:

What the fuck?

Let’s review history:
Sometime, millennia ago, some amoeba-like thing started to bump and grind up against some other amoeba-like thing, accidentally, and this fumbling dance gave birth to a tiny group of cells that kept bumping and grinding up against other things until one day, accidentally, human beings were created.

We have been bumping and grinding up against one another and creating ever since, but, somewhere along the way, we learned to be afraid and to hate, and now, we’ve also been fucking up ever since. Universe, you created us and then we peppered our creation with isms and phobias, with fear and hate that do the exact opposite of creation.

Do we deserve to be held? I don’t know.
Do we deserve another chance? I don’t know.
Do we deserve to understand? I don’t know.

All I know is that there is fabulosity flickering under all the bullying bullshit.
And when a friend’s body starts to fight against itself,
When a country’s heart starts to fight against itself,
We fabulous ones create, we fabulous ones continue to bump up against one another, because these are the oldest tools we have. Create and bump.

Creation and bumping existed long before our fear and hate,
But our fear and hate continue to fuck it up.
So, tonight, in the face of it all, like good freaks, we create, we bump and grind,
We raise our glitter flags and make a gorgeous show and make a fumbling dance,
Because that’s what you taught us, Universe.
That’s how you made us: fumbling, freaky, and fabulous.
We fuck it up, but in every strand of our DNA is the amoebic roadmap back to the fundamentals.

Bump and grind us, Universe. We need to remember how to create and how to be re-created.

Let’s dance.

Amen

A Prayer for Election Day

God of burning trash heaps and of flickering flames of hope,
God of monsters we fear and monsters we’ve made and monsters we recognize:
Quiet us. Turn down the volume with us. Remind us to hush and listen.

We are tired most days, and especially today.
Each hour feels precious,
But even an extra hour of sleep can’t seem to catch us up.
Our muscles twitch, our hearts skip, our breaths catch,
And each tiny tic threatens a new norm of unease.

Move with us through our everyday losses and through our significant losses,
Through our wins and our worries.
Remind us that walking isn’t something just done with legs, but with our lives,
That dancing isn’t something just done with bodies, but with our souls,
That the works we do, that the moves we make in the world are an art,
Continuously honed and continuously reformed,
If we will hush and listen, and then act. 

Listen:
This quiet is us moving and waiting and gathering and preparing,
But it is also just quiet.
Quiet is not simply the moment of anticipation before the main event.
Quiet is the main event.

Fill this quiet with memory and curiosity.
Fill this quiet with honesty and interest,
With difference and intersection,
With things we think we understand and things we’ll never understand.

Help us to sustain and build this community,
And teach us to hold those without community.
Listen to us and listen with us.
Show us the infinite within the finite,
The beginnings within our endings,
The flickering within the burning,
And nudge us forward in the quiet of it all.

Amen