Putting hands together in supplication — that unfamiliar gesture from the feudal era — it feels as if I am holding myself to account. Should the fingers interlace? It’s only me and me, baby! But now I am with Muslims who instruct me in their art of prayer: palms open, facing forward on either side of my head. God is greater. Body orienting to the Kaaba like a plant seeking the shade. They speak to God in a holy language, which doesn’t happen to be English. I move my dry lips, go down on my knees when they do, touch my nose and forehead to the ground. I feel small. The ground is almost without limit, and yet we dare to stand on it! This is nothing like therapy. Breathe in: There is no God. Breathe out: But God. I realize that I have never worn more comfortable clothes.
Dave Bonta (bio) often suffers from imposter syndrome, but not in a bad way — more like some kind of flower-breathing dragon, pot-bellied and igneous. Be that as it may, all of his writing here is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).