"It's liberating to speak and know you have no audience"

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I had this thought when I started praying a few months ago. As part of my Jewish journey, I pray each weekday morning before leaving for work. Jews are supposed to pray three times a day, so it's only a start. Even the bit I do, reading the Amidah, which is known as the standing prayer, is only a small portion of the rich prayer tradition. The Amidah is at the center of the ceremony, and there is much text that surrounds it. It is where you acknowledge God, ask for your needs, and then thank God. In the middle, I include more personal prayers--although the more I learn about the text, the more I realize all of these personal requests are included in the Hebrew prayer at a higher level. It has taken me some time to learn the routine, and I still don't understand most of the words I'm saying. Like most things in life, it's a process.

I'm so used to recording my thoughts and ideas--and, yes, I realize that since I rarely write anything these days, this means I rarely think or have ideas anymore--and to say and think something that I know nobody except me and maybe Him will hear felt strange at first. The more I did it, the less strange it felt. I'm still undecided on how it makes me a better person. What I do know is that if I don't try, I'll never know. It's not one of those things that I can think about know how it will come out. It's something that only experience can teach.