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September 11, 2012

It is September 11th.  Again.  I was sitting in a coffee shop earlier today struggling with how to pray, or meditate, or reflect, when my mind suddenly wandered over to my Turkish grandmother from when I was living with a host family in Ankara last summer.

She would pray, punctually, five times a day.  She could never be caught without her prayer beads; she seemed to wield them as a way of channeling all of her nervous energy through them and out into the world. I remember she kept a listing of prayer times tacked up with a magnet to the wardrobe in her entrance hall. When I puzzled over it once, she obligingly offered a few interesting tidbits about which prayer times mean what, and how their timing is determined.

But what I remember most is that she would pray, always, with her palms facing up to the skies, gently rocking herself back and forth as she whispered some inward words.  And that feels right, to me.  Open to the world, cradling the soul, and speaking to the future.

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