13 April 2008


Parades and Circuses

Met a man today. Man I had seen many times before. Just sitting. With his legs crossed, hands knotted together, head hanging, hat down, and collar up. A daily fixture on the stone bench across from the children's fountain on the town green. Asleep, I think. But his lips are moving - very carefully moving. An ordinary average-middle kind of man. Size, age, clothes, condition - all ordinary average-middle. From one to two each day he sat - undisturbed by dogs, children, buses, laughter, rain, or cold. He sat. Saying something to himself, maybe. Daily.

So I asked him. One day I had to ask him. Asked him was he alright (which meant "what's going on buddy?")

And you know what he said? Said he was praying. Praying. Not that praying is so strange, but he said he was praying the alphabet over and over for an hour each day, leaving it to Almighty God to arrange the letters into the proper words of a proper prayer. What was missing in words, he said, he made up for in fervor. He figured God could handle it and would understand.

Well. I don't know. I think maybe I would settle for a little less praying and a little more sanity, myself. At the same time. At the same time, I wish I had believed in something - had faith in something - that much.

-R. Fulghum-

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