|Votive candles in the Guadalupe Shrine near Lacrosse|
I injured my knee when I played high school football. One night, I put some analgesic on the knee to reduce swelling and pain. The analgesic contained something that made my knee even more painful with burning, searing heat. Forget about the painful, swelling knee. I prayed for the analgesic fire to go away.Eventually the burning went away as dawn's early light came through the window.
As an adult, I learned that you can bring about, i.e. manifest, material world things if you learned how to focus your thoughts. In the Bible it says, and I paraphrase that sentence-Had ye but faith, ye can move mountains. Forget about moving mountains. I worked on finding parking places. I noticed, too, that if something appealed to me, an offhand kind of..." hmm, I wonder what that is like" would sometimes bring results.
I think it worked once as I watched an attractive woman walking down the corridor of the elementary school I taught at. She showed up as a substitute teacher. I was unmarried, available and on the prowl. Hmm. I wonder what she's like ended up as, "Be careful; what you wish for!" No further comment.
A lifetime ago, after a tiring all-day journey, Dawn, myself and my oldest daughter arrived at our destination across Cancun Bay in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. My mother has just passed away. I needed a vacation. The hotel we booked via travel agent was, unknown to us, up for sale. The air conditioning didn't work. The drapes were so dilapidated, the vinyl pleats stuck together and wouldn't close. At 9:30 pm fast boats brought over tourists from Cancun to the beach next door. They did the limbo dance to loudspeaker laden rock n' roll for prizes of bottles of tequila obliterating any notion of sleep. Dawn spent of good portion of the evening drinking Hurricanes with some snow mobile freaks from Oregon. I got out of bed, put on my shorts and a T-shirt and went out on the beach to perform a dance I'd seen a Native American elder perform. I'm shimmying around in a circle chanting a traditional prayer hoping to bring the Thunder-beings down on this viper's nest. In my ineptitude, I forgot that my eldest is in an adjacent room. It starts to rain. Dawn comes out to the beach dressed in my clothes from the afternoon. I guess she was pretty wasted from all those Hurricanes. "What'ye doin'? she asks. Mumble, grumble, more mumble from me. " Go back to bed," she says. So much for Native American prayers. In a few days after I'd learned how to "chill" it was a delightful experience.
|Gavrillo's version of Our Lady.|
|San Ysidro with praying angel. Sometimes the angel would handle the plow.|
I have a tendency sometimes toward flippancy. If what I have said previously seems to negate the power of prayer, I have led you astray. I'm not asking you to believe in or to ascribe to any thought process, religion or spiritual practice. I'm not asking anything, period. I'm trying to convince me. Moi. In a crisis such as I'm facing, I need strength and help from all corners. The power of positive vibration. The power of focus. Most of all, the power of humor in it's wonderfully deviant ways.