My prayers have become strange journeys into imagination. Journeys into worlds that more and more seem to exist independently of my whim. I am visiting other places that have their own logic, a logic impervious to the impetuous demands of strangers such as myself.
This morning I find him in a forest, on the hunt. He is wild and laughing, gray beard wagging, spear keen for the flesh of boar. We walk briskly as he counsels me.
“There was a man who traveled far from home. One day he came to a village and decided to settle there. But he did not speak the language or know the culture, and so he had many difficulties. He could not communicate his needs, he unwittingly behaved in socially unacceptable ways, and in general earned himself a reputation for being obnoxious or stupid.
“But despite his early troubles and conflicts, he persevered. Gradually he came to understand the local customs. Gradually he came to understand the language. He came to be able to make his way in the village, to meet his needs and earn a place of respect and value in the community. Sometimes he would still slip or become confused, but these reversals became less and less. The villagers came in turn to realize that he was not churlish or foolish.”
This, he tells me, is the story of my life.