a triangle prayer for you today:
Often the titles of my drawings can excite me as much as the drawings themselves. What can I say, I love words. Prayer. I’ve always loved that word, not because I’m religious (I’m not), but because there is so much hope in the word, and a lot of humanity—like we must pray because we are human and can’t possibly grasp even one tiny part of what’s going on. We pray because we are small.
I also just love the word itself—the letter “y” seems so English to me, and it makes the word sound old. I love old things. Turns out “prayer” comes from Middle English from Old French “preire,” and if you know a romance language (at least Italian), the word for prayer is very close to “prayer,” minus the “y.” So it’s interesting, that “y.” It makes it English.
And I just think about the history of that word, how many tongues it has passed, and hearts, and the little old women kneeling and whispering. This writing is unleashing a torrent of memories, like sitting on the cold marble in St. Peter’s in Rome listening to the nuns praying. There is a very specific moment I have in mind, that one when I had a very severe crush on the person sitting next to me, so there was this complicated mixture of things in my heart—the nuns praying, and my heart praying, and the feel of the cool marble, and the enormous high ceilings, and the longing. In that moment there was the mystery and completely arresting flood of everything.
Don’t you love those kinds of transporting memories? The moment will stay in me for the rest of my life, even if my companion that day turned out to be nothing.
And so, the title of this drawing is so much bigger than the drawing, that perhaps I will have to do more of them under this title. The title gets my brain wandering—what would a triangle prayer look like? And is it a prayer in the shape of a triangle, or is it a triangle that is praying and therefore the prayer of a triangle? Hmm. Deep questions. Oh, how words take me places. What a gift. Language.