Religion and Philosophy
There isn’t really a reset button for life — a switch you can hit, after you’ve gone through something terrible, that lets you go back to the beginning and start over. But there should be.
If we could have been inside his heart, if we could have been offered transportation from our Jerusalem to his heaven, this is what we might have absorbed: Abkar was not leading us in prayer. He was talking to God while we happened to be behind him, squeezed in so tightly we could hardly ﬁnd places for our foreheads on ﬂawless plush carpet.
My earliest Zen teachers were failure and my father, in that order. The first thing I failed at was being physically big. This wasn’t my fault, of course, but kids always feel directly responsible for how they look. And how I looked was small.
The pills are about the size of a bing-cherry pit in diameter and are a faint green color, like the eggs of some songbirds. On one side they have a deeply inscribed SZ, on the other, the number 789. They are Ritalin, the ten-milligram kind. Imogene knows them by sight because occasionally patients admitted to the psychiatric ward where she works as a nurse have containers of assorted pills, and she has learned to spot the ones that will get her high.
“God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two — one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken.