I have written elsewhere in this blog that writing poetry, especially when I was writing a poem a day for 365 consecutive days from September 2018 until September 2019, is a spiritual practice. So it seems appropriate to write about prayer in the Sunday Weekly poem. As Samuel Becket said:
Samuel Beckett spent a portion of his youth at the Royal Portora School in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, which is not a million miles away from where we live. We live in this edgy part of Ireland where Cavan meets Fermanagh meets Leitrim. Last Sunday found us doing some life laundry (and literal laundry, too) in the nearby town of Manorhamilton, about sixteen miles from us. (NB: we live an average of twenty miles from anywhere in three directions that is a recognisable centre of population, with a number of commercial outlets and services.)
So this is what I do when I have a spare hour and a half when I can multi-task with a domestic task.
In the Mace in Manorhamilton I Sit Down And It strikes me that, sitting at a laminate table, on a banquette, drinking my coffee, and imitation pain au chocolat, that this is a good place to pray while my laundry cycles, getting all sweet-smelling and washed. It’s all auto here, not just the petrol pumps, but what dispenses coffee, the washing machines, the drier, the factory’s template exact cut of tabletop after tabletop, like an assembly line cookie cutter (they sell good cookies here, too) where I sit eating my machined pastry. This is a good place to pray. Where everyone is just doing their best, Bless them! Wiping tables, swabbing the deli counter, totting at the till, making change, nodding, and being pleasant. But then, this is Leitrim after all, and people tend to be. So this is a good place to pray, because praying is not automatic, with the distant hum of the radio chat behind the rumble of the chill cabinet. Copyright © 2020 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.