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I prayed this morning with no lack of desperation.

At first I stepped into my regular morning prayers from my prayerbook. I gripped the pages and felt the desperation whisper to me, “not now..” and “you’re busy…” and “do this later…” I nearly threw it to the ground. I was not angry. I don’t think I was angry. I was overwhelmed and I was tired and rushed but not angry.

The prayerbook found it’s way safely back to my makeshift shrine, that dusty shelf with candles yet unlit and one lonely icon waiting for the rest of it’s family. I rolled my chotki from my wrist and kneeled on the floor, waiting a moment and exhaling. I was not angry. I don’t think I was angry.

I began the Jesus Prayer and the desperation overtook me. This is not a quiet rumbling it is a ripping grief, flesh tearing but no blood. There is no blood, just deep empty.

I didn’t stop though, I kept moving through the 33 knots…pausing only slightly between prayer because I knew that too long a pause would bring me opportunity to stop. Should I feel crazy like this, spiritually schizophrenic, because I am moving into this prayer tradition? Something is shifting. Something is always shifting.