|Prayer for Peter 7″x5″ mixed media on sketch pad paper|
The concept of prayer has changed over time. My mother was a missionary, my father was raised in Federal Day School and St. Michael’s Indian Residential School as was his mother. Prayer has been something that one does. Like a grounded plane, the propeller rotates creating noise but it stays on the ground. Prayer has seemed like that to me.
And then I was invited to a Sweat Lodge ceremony. Seated on the earth with the smell of cedar, sage and other medicines as they were sprinkled on the glowing hot rocks. The steam and the heat opening the centre of the soul. With each of the four rounds, the heat penetrated to a deeper place. The facilitator lead with songs and then each person asked for help for family, for friends, for enemies, for themselves. In the darkness of the mother earth womb, gasps and moans came from the core. Unashamedly. This prayer had wings. Sometimes you could hear the distinctive movement of the eagle wing, moving the heat, pressing it into your pores to draw out prayers from the centre, from the corners, the cracks and the hidden places. Lifting the soul to the other side, out from the hidden places, from the jagged places. Pray. Pray without ceasing. Let every breath be prayer.