Wednesday, March 25, 2009



When I was a kid, my Grandma taught me a tiny little bedtime prayer to my guardian angel. It was appropriate then; I was a little kid, the angel wasn't too big either, and he watched over me as if he were my friend. But as I grew older and began exploring the world, I no longer had time for prayers to a little boy. I have studied the offer of several gods, including Jesus Christ, but tough they all touched me in a way, Jesus in particular, none of them could offer me that proportion of friendly protection as my guardian angel. So I went on my own way; but as time passed I encountered phenomena for which I had no explanation. When I lived in another city, in Prague, lights on lamp posts went off one after the other as I passed them on my way home every evening. On my way to Spain, a sequence of minor peculiar events occurred, and repeated itself on my way home. It was there when an idea struck me first that it need not be ourselves who are choosing our god. What if it's the Gods who chooses us? Andalucia, in Spain, with its mixture of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions is an ideal country for searching the one who has chosen you. What I found was utterly surprising -- my patron definitely isn't God, but certainly a Goddess. I have always had the best relationship to women and with them. It were always women who subtly led me to the right path. My Goddess though is not frivolous, she is spiritual. She therefore must be a virgin. Spaniards call Virgin Mary "Virgen". That is my Goddess. When I once again lived at a different place, in Iowa City, she has confirmed that with a series of minor obscurities, including the lamp post in front of the hostel with its light on going out whenever I walk past in the evening buried in thoughts.

I never prayed to my Goddess, but in Iowa City my colleague in writing, Jerzy Szperkowicz reminded me that the possibility exists. Well, then, here are my prayers for almost every occasion:

* Aging -- My Goddess, as we're getting older, we placate ourselves and others around us that with age, we'll become wiser. But you know what really happens. Please save me from becoming foolish as I get older.

* Arguments -- My Goddess, you know how passionately I like arguments. Please, let me have partners whom I would still honor even after the fiercest of arguments.

* Christmas -- My Goddess, ordinary Christmas are boring. It's amazing how little actually happens compared to all those huge expectations and promotion campaign. The problem is that Christmas aren't normal when we can't go through that ritual stereotype of a Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas presents, and a brightly lit Christmas tree.... My Goddess, let me always have normal and appropriately boring Christmas; and please, save me from eating too much as last time!

* Enemies -- My Goddess, let me have enemies! I need them to remain alert and strive to become better all the time. I need them to keep me from making careless mistakes and force me to search for convincing argumentation. But don't let them be too many. You know, I need also an occasional moment of rest.

* Friends -- You know well, My Goddess, that friendship does not mean boundless identification with someone else, uncritical admiration, or total consent with what the other does or thinks. Surely you know that friendship primarily involves the ability to forgive; and to argue while being capable to look each other straight in the eyes. You know how much I care about my friends and how much I miss them when we just don't have the time. And you also know me. Please allow my friendships to survive all that tests of time spend with me for at least the next one hundred years....

* Health -- My Goddess, it always bored me as a kid when grownups spoke about health. How important it is, indeed perhaps the most important of what we need. I have one more simple request -- please let me remain bored whenever people speak about health.

* Literature -- My Goddess, you know how much I still have to say and write; and to send in thick book covers to others. Give me time to do all I must.... Oh Yeah, I can see you nodding your head in disbelief and you wonder, just as my wife, how dare I trying to get you with such a cheap trick. You know, just as does my wife, that I shall never be completely finished; there will always be new ideas and things to be urgently expressed and sent elsewhere.... But you, as my wife, could make an exception. Trust a liar and give him time....

* Money -- My Goddess, someone wise once said that men are those making money all year so that their wives have enough to spend on holiday tours. I do not object. But please, let me earn enough so that my wife has something to look forward to before vacations.* My wife Janina - My Goddess, since you let me find the best in the world for me, don't let her discover that I'm not the best one in the world for her.

* My daughters -- My Goddess, you know how much I love them. You are watching when I look at my daughters, Lucy and Veronica, and you see how I fear for them. If I were alone, I would go into great battles and never be scared as I am now. My Goddess, you know that I am a fighter and that those two kids are my weak point. You know too that I'll go into confrontations again. Please, just try making sure that no one ever takes revenge on my children, as it's now becoming a custom in this world. Help me see them grow up in peace and get happily married, and let me rejoice over my grandchildren in good health. And one more plea -- when the father of my grandfather was dying, he called all his sons to his bed, looked at them and simply addressed each of them by their names. Then he died in peace. Please, let me, my Goddess, do the same in my time of death. Give me a chance for that last summary of my love.

* Science -- My Goddess, I have a simple plea. Let me forever remain curious to know.

* Sex -- My Goddess, It's good that you are and will forever remain a Virgin. So please suppress your curiosity, turn away and don't look at me in moments when my body rules over my soul. Remain innocent.

* Tennis -- My Goddess, you know that I am by no means a champion in this game; nevertheless, you may have noticed how much I like winning. So please help me from time to time to win.... but only as much I would not notice!

* Travels -- My Goddess, You know how desperately I like to travel. But you know too that I hate going to places where I'm reduced to a silent observer, an alien without a chance to share grievances, to laugh with the locals. You have already let me meet a blessed abundance of beautiful people in various corners of the earth. I'm sure that you still have in your sleeve a couple of wonderful countries for me to visit. My Goddess, let me meet some beautiful people there too!

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