…it is written.
those were the words onto which my eyes locked, as i turned to page 108 in the morning prayer service of the new union prayer book for the days of awe:
“on rosh hashanah it is written..”
those words burrowed deeper than they might otherwise have burrowed, those words that inform us that God is on high, is etching our fates into the great book of life, of destiny; a refrain of the jewish new year that is ancient and every year new. it is the beginning somber note of a two-part doxology: on rosh hashanah, it is written; on yom kippur it is sealed.
weighty enough. but even weightier this year for me.
for far beyond the walls of the synagogue, where i bent in prayer yesterday, i knew that cardboard boxes were plopping on door stoops, sliding into the hungry maws of mail boxes. i knew because blessed friends had been sending me pictures. a book landing here, landing there. each one a birth.
indeed, it was written.
and that’s when suddenly the image popped into my mind: the wafting seeds, airborne puffs roto-coptering across the landscape, over farmer fields, over desert mountaintops, from sea to shining sea.
there’s a word that’s gone out of vogue, but i am on a one-woman campaign to revive it, breathe life back into it. it’s mullipuff, a delightful collection of syllables and spill-from-your-mouth cotton-ball consonants, and it is the word for the seed head of the dandelion, when its yellow fronds are spent, but its deepest job is just beginning: it’s about to take flight, and in that breathtaking way, transformation has occurred. it has seed dropping to do. holy act of faith, indeed. flinging itself to the winds and the rains. counting on calm blanket of air, of breeze, to carry it to where it might plop, sink in, begin the birth and rebirth.
…it is written.
and so i find myself this morning, twirling and spinning the thought of all those books, of those pages being turned, and i know this is where i need to pray most mightily. this is where the holy act begins. the book is landing, and with it the words, the prayers burrowed deep down inside. lying in half-sleep this morning, i prayed that those words — like seedlets in motion — would begin their journey, their voyage, their sacred beginning….i imagined each word propelled, each one decked out with little flagella, those microbiological wings — propellers — that scurry amoeba along. if you’ve ever put your eye to the microscope lens, you know what i mean, the little flippers that make the droplets of pond water swim across the microscope slide.
so, i imagine, the words. so i pray for the words. now that they’re unloosed on the world, now, i pray, “please do your job.”
it’s what happens, i suppose, when you don’t set out to write literature, don’t sink your heart into plot twist or narrative arc. but when all you do is set out to unfurl your heart, to write a plainspoken book of common prayer. the prayer from one harried mama who is looking so hard for the holy. who, after practice and practice, is beginning to gather it, to fill her heart with it. to find the holy bliss she’s been looking for. looking for so very long.
and so, this morning, i hold my breath, i pray my prayers, i ask the heavens to take over where i can’t go. the words that i typed are dandelion seeds. they are wafting now. landing, burrowing down.
dear God, let the seedlings take root. let something begin deep in the hearts and the souls. a scratching the surface, and quietly quietly sinking deep down where wonder takes root. where eyes are widened, and ears are perked. let the holy begin to rustle. let it quiet the noise, and peel back the hard dull edge, make known the unnoticed. let the hours be mined for all that they hold — magnificence, mystery, luminescence and shadow. let us see the beauty, behold the beautiful. let the books that land on the doorsteps, let them be the field guide to what lies deep within. the wonder, the wisdom, the Sacred.
so now you’ve read along as i prayed out loud. saying your prayers aloud gives them a bit more heft, adds ballast. i’ve been blanketed in that prayer all week, as i knew that little book, the one called Slowing Time, was miraculously being boxed and shipped and delivered. it’s as if a hundred thousand prayers of my heart, the seeds of the mullipuff, are finally released, finally getting to work. and all i can do is pray that they land where they’re likely to burrow and bloom.
what constitutes the mullipuff you choose to blow into the world?
p.s. because i was enchanted by the noun, mullipuff, i turned it into a verb (up above), as in a weightless something blown upon the whisper of breath out across the landscape. mullipuffed. may what matters to your heart, be mullipuffed….
because i was wholly entranced, as i always am, by the prayers i find in the jewish prayer books, and because i was struck by how deeply i’ve been informed by the lens through which ancient jews marveled at the world, i carried home the prayer book, so i could share this prayer with you. it’s called, Your Endless Blessing, and it begins on page 82.
Great and holy Maker of all the living,
You create the world, Your child, anew at every moment.
An instant’s pause in Your creative love, and all things would turn to naught.
But Your blessing glows in every spark of time.
Again and again the morning stars unite to hymn Your love.
Again the sun comes forth to sing Your light.
Again the angels sing their sacred chant to You.
Again the souls intone their need for You.
Again the grasses sing their thirst for You.
Again the birds chirp their joy before You.
Again abandoned chicks voice their orphan-song to You.
Again springs softly bubble their prayer to You.
And still the afflicted pour out their complaint to You.
And still their souls’ prayer splits Your heavens.
And still they tremble in awe of Your glory.
And still in hope they lift up their eyes to You.
One ray of Your light, and we are bathed in light!
One word from You, and we are reborn!
One hint of Your eternal presence, and we are refreshed with the dew of youth!
Author of life, as You renew all things, take us, Your children, and make us new.
Breathe Your spirit into us, that we may start life afresh, with childhood’s unbounded promise.
Oh my, your words are so delightful to read!! And you are such a poet!!
I received my greatly anticipated copy of Slowing Time…ahhhh….what a treasure…I am being embraced by such beautiful imagery, words and prayers…thank you for sharing your heart and your gift of storytelling with us. Stunning…
oh, the sound of prayer answered….bless you, thank you for your bountiful and generous heart…
Oh, amen, amen, amen and amen. My copy of Slowing Time is already dogeared. So exciting to think of it as mullipuff, love the vision of that, seeds sinking in to take root and grow what a soul truly needs.
dogeared is an especially beautiful word right in here. thanks, beautiful. thank you much. xoxo
Happy High Holy Days! Still planning on coming to the October 9th event in Evanston.
thanks, MDP. just to be safe, the bookstore is asking that folks call to reserve a seat. 224-999-7722. i’m not allowed to save chairs! don’t want anyone who wants to be there to be dawdling in the alley….
that prayer is a prayer – brilliant, beautiful, it makes me want to peek over my shoulder, again and again. may i share it?
your words are spent so beautifully bam, and i so hope you trouble yourself no more on where your words land. you have scattered them, it is up to the great winds of good change to carry them now.
did you know when i first moved here, the big fish and i did not get along at all…not because he was a tyrant, ha. he was so giving and i was so giving in a way, we were having giving fights. my sweetest healer/friend/masseuse michelle settled this for me….”sweets, god gave you two hands, but often enough, you only use the one, you have to use the other now too…receive.” i was sure out of whack, rarely accepting what my good man offered. so now- i simply ask for his wallet when things get a bit too inequitable…that works too.
so exciting, how do you sleep at night? may your prayers continue to grow all that has laid dormant for too long- loving kindness, compassion, empathy. i think of your book as a weapon of sorts, lethal to pain, negativity and doubt. anyway- carry on, (though i won’t be Slowing Time until harvest season is through…mid Oct., i’m going to open up and receive that book in some quiet, special sacred place to me now- no more corn crib cathedrals, sigh…just magnificent wilderness.)
true wonder, true wisdom. two hands. oh, i so often forget the other one. tie it behind my back, practically i do. i will sink into your words, “trouble yourself no more…..”
indeed and indeed. harvest season is the best season for Slowing Time. soon as my box comes, i’m sending you one etched in love. xoxoxo
When you unfurl your heart, lovely one, there is beauty and wonder. I am eager to absorb Slowing Time. May its mullipuffs waft lightly away to gentle readers everywhere. Blessings~ xox
bless you, with stars bestrewn…..(we do both love archaic words, do we not??) quaint rather than archaic. in need of dusting off and being put back into the lineup….
Did your publisher not put it on iTunes?
oh goodness, no. would that mean as in read by the author? now, there’s an idea. sort of like bedtime stories, to lull you to sleep…..
So true, bam — don’t all writers want to be mullipuffed? We are so lucky that the right winds picked up your seeds and delivered them to us! And I love the Endless Blessing prayer. I’m trying to meet the challenge posed by your book, and I have to say it’s tougher than this old Catholic would have thought. But I’ll keep reading and plugging away, and it helps and comforts to have your guide on my nightstand.
nightstand is yet another one of those words that melts my heart and perks my ears. the mullipuffers, that’s us. xoxox
[…] years later, and there’s a book in the world, the one being “mullipuffed,” even now as i type. God bless […]