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