I just bought Marie Howe’s book called, “The Kingdom of Ordinary Time” for Tony for Father’s Day. It is funny to say that as a writer, it was Tony who introduced me to great poets such as Mary Oliver and Billy Collins. Marie is the writer in residence at the College of St. Benedict in the summers, and because of our connection to the college, and the fact that this book was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book awards, it is now part of Tony’s collection. Browsing through it, I already fell in love with a poem called Prayer because there have been countless times I have felt the same way.
by Marie Howe
Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more important
calls for my attention- the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage
I need to buy for the trip.
Even now I can hardly sit here
among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage truck outside
already screeching and banging.
The mystics say you are as close as my own breath.
Why do I flee from you?
My days and nights pour through me like complaints
and become a story I forgot to tell.
Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning
to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.
So what pulls you from prayer? How can you bring yourself back to the present moment? What keeps you seated in the chair so you can fill up with love?