By Reg Madison
“The thing about us women… we pray. Whether we call it that or not. Ceaselessly. Reverently. Desperately. We pray. Over the simmering pot of I love you too much to let you go hungry, to the mindfulness in striking the match, it’s all prayer. When we turn off and tuck in, we pray. Through each I’m not good enough and How can I possibly? We pray. When we steal 4 minutes in the bathroom while catching our breath, 3.5 of those are spent in utterances of sanctification.
Over our earth. Over our children. Over our people. Over ourselves.
We are women, and each step we take is a walking meditation calling in spirit to move and guide us that we, as women, can keep the diamonds of faith tethered to our hearts.
Through sighs of exhaustion and the syphoning of resources, whether to a Him or Her or both. We ask. We thank. We pray. Through restless feet and tireless duty, through night and day and in stolen moments of powerlessness, we offer it up and out.
Because we know from our mothers, and their mothers’ mothers, that the only way to taste heaven with both feet covered in soil, is to expand like an acrobat with folded hands and open hearts. And surrender.
We pray with a mysticism that keeps crops sprouting, tides rolling and winds changing. We stay on our knees to see God, not to be noticed by a godless society. We Houdini 4 loaves from 2 because guess what? God honours that shit.
There is a knowing in our bones. Something that is silently declared when our parents are told, “It’s a girl.” We will live a life of reverence. We will exalt all that is holy. We will baptize and be baptized in lifetimes of bleeding truth. And when we are drowning in tears of self-doubt and shame, we take the pause, lean in and practice acceptance. All within a prayer.
Before we learn to talk or walk or say no, we pray. Before we leave this life on earth, we pray. Before we wake. Pray.
In our art, in our gaze, in our laps.
With supplication and grace, we pray.
We bathe in it. Breathe fire with it. Move mountains through it.
And dance intimately beside it.
In gratitude, in awe, in humility.
For peace, for patience for strength
Because we honour that space between here and there
Because even the mundane requires it
And the sacred gives evidence to it.
Because we can’t afford not to.
We are women.
And we pray.”
Model is Tamsen Rae.
Photography by me.
Edited with Tribe Archipelago.
More of this session here.