Saturday, May 16, 2020


A week later, May 14, another Thursday in eternity, 
another drop in the oceanic,
in the absolute center of the Universe, 
Brooklyn, New York.

The day is still undefined and indeterminate,
except for the mere fact that it is 62 degrees Fahrenheit
and mostly sunny, and its name is Thursday. 
This Thursday afternoon is empty and I try to fill it with words.


No good?

You’re faking it. You know that.

Maybe I don’t have anything to say. Maybe I don’t have anything to say because there isn’t much to me.

No, there isn’t much to you, but there is SOMETHING. You could say SOMETHING. Something honest, I mean.

That is too hard.

What have you got there?

You mean this notebook?

Yes, that notebook. Read something from that notebook. Read what you last wrote, whatever it is, even if it’s a shopping list or, God Forbid, a dream account.

Ok, but this will probably be embarrassing.

Excellent! All the better!

He opens the spiral bound notebook and reads:

I am doing a high wire act. I have limited funds. Not enough money coming in as my financial resources, mainly one bank account, is slowly drained, drop by drop, and will probably be empty too soon. I am afraid of running out of money, not being able to pay rent, getting evicted, becoming homeless, etc., and I am afraid to look at the bank account that is my principle resource in the same way that someone walking on a high wire does not look down for fear that the sight of the ground far below will trigger vertigo and loss of balance and the fall.

Are you really going to run out of money “soon?” You were pretty frugal even before the enforced frugality of the quarantine and now you only buy essential groceries and never eat take out, and you cook for yourself. Can’t you keep at it for another year?

Maybe, but what then? I’ll be 67 and broke. 

So you’re afraid?

I want to live by faith, so that the purpose, the end I desire to attain is itself the means to attain that end — the end is realizing itself as a painting realizes itself in the attentive labor I put into it. I want that kind of vision, inspiration, and creation, to provide the way —I want to have faith, I want to believe —

Like Fox Mulder?

Eh! Go ahead and scoff. I believe, but unbelief still dogs me. I need courage, if not encouragement.  And I need a good sense of balance.

Are these your prayer requests?

Yes, Father. Bless me.

Who Am I? The Wizard of Oz?

If you were, would you say I already have what I’m asking for? Faith? Courage? Balance?

Remember what the chicken said when asked why it crossed the road.


“Je suis Perdue.” 

Friday, May 08, 2020

May days

Old man, take a look at my life, I'm a lot like you.

I turn on the iMac I bought in 2002, my first computer. An alert pops up saying that the computer’s date and time are set for a date before March 24, 1970 and that this may cause some applications to behave erratically. My eighteen year old iMac is not connected to the internet, you see. It is out of touch. I am to go to System Preferences, click on date and time, and re-set, which I do, using my new iPhone’s clock as a reference. 

The phrase “to behave erratically” stands out for me, as does the peculiar date mentioned in the alert — “March 24, 1970” — not even the date to which the computer was set, but a date after the unnamed date. Maybe it was set on my birthday, which is March 19, and in 1970 I turned sixteen. If the date given was May 4, 1970, instead of March 24, the alert could be about a glitch in my own operating system and my own kind of erratic behavior since the events of May 4, 1970. 

Today is May 4, 2020 and 1970 is on my mind.

I look up the word “erratic” on my five year old MacBook and Merriam-Webster tells me “erratic” means: 

“having no fixed course: WANDERING” 
or “characterized by a lack of consistency, regularity, or uniformity”
or “deviating from what is ordinary or standard: ECCENTRIC”
or the archaic meaning: NOMADIC.” 

Related to  “erratic” is “err, error, errant.”

According to another dictionary, the term “erratic” is used in geology for a boulder that is different from the rocks surrounding it because it was probably “transported from an original resting place, especially by a glacier.”

I imagine “erratic” describes my “journey” from adolescence to seniority. Like a boulder pushed by some historical force at a glacial pace from my parents’ living room in Florida to my studio in New York.

May 4, 1970 is an important date for some, not all, in my generation, as December 7, 1941 is an important date for my parents’ generation. Pearl Harbor was attacked by a foreign power on December 7, and four students were killed by a domestic power on May 4. 

If December 7 summoned my parents’ generation to war against foreign powers, what did May 4 do to my generation? What did the events of May 1970 do to me to transport me from from childhood in Palm Beach Gardens to old age in Brooklyn?

“Who cares?” you could reasonably respond. How do the deaths of four white kids at Kent State, plus the two black kids in Jackson State killed eleven days later, compare to the uncounted thousands of black people killed by cops? Or the uncounted Asians bombed by Nixon’s B 52s? Or the uncounted indigenous people killed by European invaders? 

Kent State, for my generation, is analogous to Ferguson, Missouri to this generation. An act of official violence and point blank homicide shook people, some people, awake to the America history we had been taught to ignore, to keep out of mind. The history of genocide, slavery and imperialist war was hidden behind red, white, and blue bunting and drowned out by fireworks. 

The next day: May 5, Cinco de Mayo, and I’m reading what I wrote yesterday about May 4, when I was wallowing in a bitter pool of memory and history, and I delete most of it.

It is OK if May 4th has become Star Wars Day. Take a deep breath. It’s OK. Life goes on. Generation replaces generation.

Today is May 5, 2020 and the thing to keep in mind is
if you must go outside for essential tasks, wear a face covering and keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others. A new poll indicates that only 22% of Americans “feel comfortable” eating out at a restaurant now, 33% feel comfortable going to a retail clothing store, and 56% feel comfortable going to a grocery store. I go to a grocery store once or twice a week, but I don’t feel comfortable when I do.

The same poll claims that 56% give Trump negative ratings for his response to the outbreak while 44% of Americans are out of their fucking minds. Many people in more rural areas seem to think the pandemic is a New York City problem, if they even think it is a real problem. They say that Covid 19 is being hyped by fake news, that the morgue trucks in my city are fake, that all the people I know who are sick aren’t really sick, that my friend Robin wasn’t really in the hospital for 43 days, and my friend Dean didn’t really die alone at home, that healthcare workers and transit workers and other essential workers aren’t really dying of the virus. These are the people who say I don’t know what I know because they saw some videos on Facebook that told them what they prefer to believe, that what is happening is not happening and if it is happening it is a “plandemic” designed to make Dear Leader look bad, or something.

This madness of the moment, when so many are in denial — the present Commander in Chief, for instance — this madness of the executive power and his followers reminds me of the madness of fifty years ago.

Fifty years ago I decided I would not go to war if I was drafted. I would become a conscientious objector, I’d move to Toronto. Or maybe a sympathetic doctor would say I have bone spurs. 

It would be hypocritical of me to criticize the decision Trump made when he was eighteen. We have had three Presidents who were faced with the draft during the Vietnam War era and in different ways all of them avoided combat. As Commanders-in-Chief they were authorized to send eighteen year olds to kill and die. I have protested their wars. 

The draft had in effect ended by the time I turned eighteen. Some general said we needed to change the color of the bodies, so the bombing was increased and the draft was put on hold. I was given 1-H status. American boys lived, Asians of all ages died, Nixon called this “peace,” and the American people re-elected him. Some of my friends voted for him and I found I never really knew them or their strange religion.

I walked out of the SAT and dropped out of high school. I could not imagine how I could possibly fit into this insane society, so I set off on my erratic course. I found that art was a good category for my kind of error, because no one is sure exactly what art is, least of all artists.

History, or some other force, has deposited me in Brooklyn, as a boulder is deposited by a glacier. This place feels like home, this place in which I shelter, even in this pandemic. As we slowly became aware that we were in a pandemic we had little real data. There were not enough tests to do enough testing, but we knew the virus was here. The virus had been far away in foreign lands and now it was here, maybe everywhere, and maybe I was already infected. In those days I considered the possibility I might soon get sick and die. I didn’t want to die in a hospital with a tube stuck down my windpipe. I wanted to die at home, if I’m fortunate enough to be given a choice.

Now that I am here, the path that brought me here no longer seems erratic, but a matter of trial and error. My art making is a series of trials and errors that I organize into some kind of order, some kind of meaning. I attempted to give some kind of meaning to a random date in a message on my old iMac, but the message was not really so oracular. It had been popping up every time I opened that computer, which wasn’t very often, and I ignored it until last Monday. Has my life really been erratic? It has often seemed glacial in its pace.

A friend posted an article about a comet named “Swan” that will appear in the sky soon. Supposed to be worth looking at. “My time has come,” I said. Am I like a boulder pushed by a glacier, or like a comet falling in space, drawing an arc in our sky? Neither, of course. 

On May 7, 2020, I’m where I belong, and I’m right on time

Friday, May 01, 2020

Years later and years later after that

There now is something called “The Freedom Tower” where the huge negative space used to be. It was stuck in the hole in the sky where the Old World Trade Center was.
They had to put something there because they were afraid of the vacuum, afraid it would suck them into it, and they would be lost forever.
So, another expensive, worthless, phallic symbol was erected in Lower Manhattan. I can’t see it at this moment, but I know it’s there in the fog, and when the fog clears I will see it out my window.

In those days, I often walked downtown to look at the big hole where the Trade Center had been and the emptiness was overwhelming. I used to wonder if I would ever again be able to enjoy a perfect September day, or any perfect blue day. But that was back when the pile was still burning. It burned into December while volunteers worked, with no protective gear, no respirators, not even the kind of pathetic homemade masks we wear now when we go out to get groceries. The workers weren’t warned that they were in danger of getting cancer or fatal respiratory illness from their sad labor of searching for tiny pieces of human remains. “Recovery,” it was called, for a “decent burial” that honored the dead.

We never know where to put the dead, even when there is a burial plot already paid for, or a bag of ashes. That Fall we inhaled the dead, their smoky ghosts, but we could never understand what we thought they demanded of us. We are never ready to lose our people and we never know how to fill the vacuum that takes the place they occupied in our lives, the big hole in the sky.

People were born after the towers fell and they grew up and graduated from high school and started college or went to work or became parents. I used to wonder about those people of the future for whom the towers were not an everyday sight, something you looked for when you got off the subway and needed to orient yourself. The towers are over there, so uptown is over here, and the East Side is to the right, etc. When the towers were gone we were often disoriented and had to find other ways to know where we were.

America was lost in the world, picking fights, blustering, and deceiving itself. America wasn’t prepared for the new viruses, its social safety net was torn, its constitution had been sabotaged, and the empire never fully recovered.

Years Later, others were born who grew up not knowing some things that were commonplace in 2019. Why would anyone ever eat THAT? Were they TRYING to kill themselves? Why the addiction to fossil fuels? Were they CRAZY? And so on. 

The people of the future — I call them “People of the Future” — never shake hands. Handshakes are disgusting. Bare hands are disgusting. Seeing someone without gloves turn a doorknob is like seeing someone pick their nose. Young people roll their eyes when I make these observations, so I try to hold my tongue — excuse the vulgarity — but since you asked… 

What else? she asked. What else was normal twenty years ago that is not normal in 2040?

We were also addicted to money. Dirty, bacteria—ridden cash. We thought we couldn’t live without it. 

People back then were so nasty, my great great niece said to me. They displayed their naked faces in real life. It was gross.

I tried to explain that we weren’t used to masking our faces all the time, because the 21st century viruses were unknown, and we didn’t need to protect ourselves so much.

That’s not even true, she says. You had the flu, you had  the common cold, you had AIDS, SARS, Ebola, measles…
People died from that shit.

She’s writing her dissertation on the history of modern pandemics. She’s not stupid, but to her generation, an old man’s naked face is a very unpleasant sight, and a young person’s bare mouth is either erotic or ridiculous. Now everyone is veiled and everyone’s veil is a unique fashion statement that shows the world how one wants to be seen. It has only been this way for a couple of decades. Nose, mouth, eyes, need to be protected from invisible enemies, everyone is taught that, but it took years for my generation to learn it. We didn’t know.

2020 was the year the new viruses discovered the human world, my great great niece says, and by 2025 the new viruses had colonized Earth. They are cruel rulers, but they also give us some good things. They unified the human community and they put a stop to global warming. People adapted. 

Yeah, we adapted, but I’m 86 years old and I remember how things were and I’m still amazed at how things changed.

What do you think is the best thing we have now that we didn’t have BV?


Before Virus, she says. We are making a new calendar. We have to, because Time has changed so much since your time and we need new ways to measure it.

Yes, my time. Well, the biggest thing, I’m not sure if it’s good or bad, but it is very big, is we finally found a place to put the dead. I passed into the Noosphere five years ago. The technology of transmigration was, I won’t say unthinkable, there were what we called science fiction stories, and there were myths of resurrection, but the more or less permanent storage of one’s essential data was a fantastic idea that most scientists thought was impossible. The next leap was the discovery that our data could continue to live and grow and merge with the data of others in the information afterlife. It is nice to visit you on this device and to have these zoom meetings — I’m surprised it’s still called that — but to leave the meeting and not be attached to my image, and let the soul evaporate into the cloud of witnesses is a rapture you never dreamed of.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Here comes your Covid 19 Breakdown.

“More than 21 percent of roughly 1,300 New York City residents tested as part of a state study had antibodies linked to COVID-19, Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed Thursday during a press conference.”*
(The Gothamist 4/23/2020)

5 to 1, baby,
1 in 5,
Nobody here gets out alive
(The Doors)

To be in Hell is to be in a strange land and that strange land is your own soul, a soul governed by anger and fear, and I don’t know what other wild beasts, a state governed by Paranoia.

What is this name “Paranoia?” Paranoia, who are you?
Paranoia is by my side. We wander side by side in this wilderness, beside ourselves, the mind beside itself, deceiving itself, projecting fear and not recognizing the projections, like the prisoners of the Cave.

I don't know what to do with my anger. You can't storm the White House in a pandemic.
You can’t take it to the streets, or you shouldn’t take it to the streets, but some of our brothers and sisters try. They are carrying guns, as if they can shoot the virus with their automatic sporting rifles and handguns. They are also angry and they are very confused. They are being lied to, but they can’t figure out who is lying and who isn’t. They know they are being deceived but not that they are deceiving themselves. Their minds are beside themselves, not recognizing themselves. They are heavily armed against creatures of their own terrified imaginations, the monsters that hide under their beds at night. They don’t want to be isolated, they don’t want to be prisoners of their own homes, alone with those they fear the most, themselves and their families, but mostly themselves. 

When the shit comes down they will be prepared to kill their neighbors, their own families, and then themselves.

Good riddance. Thin the herd. Natural selection.

Wait, did you miss the part about killing their neighbors, their families? 

We are their neighbors and they are our families, even though they are so strange. They have strange beliefs, strange angry gods. They are tormented by hungry ghosts. Their weapons are useless.

Anyway, who are you angry at? Who is the enemy? 
No. Not him.
Who or what is the real enemy?

How do you introduce someone to their own self? How do you change a broken mind? How do you change your own broken mind? How do you learn to recognize yourself, to accept yourself, so you can live with yourself, and be alone with yourself in your own home, and know that you have all that you really need?

We need to become intelligent.

Yes, we need intelligence.

21% of those tested tested positive, but it was a meaningless test, not a rigorous test, because they only tested customers in supermarkets and big box stores, not those of us staying inside.

Last night I dreamed I was walking on a busy street, carrying two shopping bags and I realize I’m not wearing a mask and I’m exposed, we’re all exposed.

The Associated Press reports:
“Researchers analyzed medical records of 368 male veterans hospitalized with confirmed coronavirus infection at Veterans Health Administration medical centers who died or were discharged by April 11.
About 28% who were given hydroxychloroquine plus usual care died, versus 11% of those getting routine care alone. About 22% of those getting the drug plus azithromycin died too, but the difference between that group and usual care was not considered large enough to rule out other factors that could have affected survival.”

Again, not a rigorous test, but they fed Dear Leader’s magic pill to the guinea pigs, not the first time veterans were guinea pigs used to test some President’s theory of reality. His propagandists have stopped selling his magic pill. They’d rather we forget this incident, and we will.

We need to be capable of sorting through the data we are given, sifting out the reliable information from the unreliable information, because deception is the worst virus of all, and we are all susceptible.

American political conversation used to be carried out with bumper stickers. Our cars spoke our slogans for us. Now we use memes created by God knows who or what and the information comes from who knows where or what or if it’s true. Who cares? If it confirms my prejudice I’m sharing it with the world.

We need to be wise, and wisdom is what some of us name “God.” 

Ignorance is what others of us name “God.”

OK. Ignorance, I think, is when we ignore the facts that are given to us, and hide truth from ourselves. Put our minds on lockdown, build a border wall around our hearts, fear the unknown, and fear the stranger who comes to our gate seeking asylum.

We see refugees whose homeland has gone to Hell and imagine they are an invading army.≈

Uh. It’s hopeless. Here comes your Covid 19 Breakdown.

I want to break open your mind. I want to change your mind, but can I even be alone with my own mind?

We listen to stories and we make up stories and call them theories. 
We call the really really old stories “sacred,” or we call them “myths” because we don’t know who first told them and we’re not sure why they told them, but, with some alterations, we tell them again. 40 days on an ark, 40 years in the wilderness. We can talk about them and compare them to what we are living through now, the facts that are given to us, the facts that we cannot understand, the creation of the world and the destruction of the world and the creation of another world. 

How did people long ago understand overwhelming events beyond their control? How did they respond and what mistakes did they make and what did they get right? How adequate is the meaning system we inherited?

What has humanity learned and how has the species survived for the short time we have inhabited this sphere in the void? 

How can we understand birth and death and how do we live knowing we die, and why?

Friday, April 03, 2020

Where is your mask?

The reality is that we all share air and moisture, and microscopic life is transmitted hand to hand, breath to breath, around the world all the time. We live in an ocean that has no limit, an everlasting flood. My home is my sanitized ark.

At 4AM, in candlelight, I hear birds and cars. It is two days before April and cold. What plans can be made? What can be done? What should I do today?

I am going to check the mail. I will not touch my face. I will have to touch the door to the stair well and I will not touch the handrails and I will have to touch the mailbox and the mail and I will not touch my face and I will touch the door knob to my door and then I will wash my hands for twenty seconds with antibacterial soap.

Where is your mask?
Don’t you know this is a masquerade?
Why have you left your room? Your room is where you belong, where you are safe. And we are also safe when you stay in your room.
Why are you intruding on our masquerade without a mask?

Do NOT touch any other person.
Do not touch anything that may have been touched by another person.
If you and another person touch you will fall ill and die.
If you touch any thing you will fall ill and die unless you wash your hands with antibacterial soap for twenty seconds.
If you touch your face you will fall ill and die.

There are very few people on the street in Brooklyn and if we pass one of us walks off the sidewalk and into the street and other hugs the wall. We are shy or suspicious and aliens. The streets are de Chirico scenes.

We are playing virus tag. Whoever has the virus is IT. Whoever is touched by IT is also IT. The objective is to not be tagged IT because to be IT is to fall ill and die.

IT is out there and IT could be in here already waiting to be touched or inhaled or to be taken in, invisibly, through the eyes.

I never knew how many people we touch indirectly and how touch is transmitted skin to skin across national borders and state borders and through doors and across social lines, person to person.

Someone tagged someone in Wuhan a few months ago and soon we were all playing the World Cup of Tag. It’s us against IT. Humans against virus.

A friend posts on Facebook:
“Okay, it may be here. I have slight nausea, slight fever…

Why the apology? A few days later he tests positive. We get updates from a doctor who knows a doctor at his hospital. His 67th birthday was a couple of days ago and he was in the hospital. Best wishes were posted on Facebook. Happy birthday, get well soon.

I’ve been flashing back to five years ago when Lori had taken a downturn. The dread I feel now is like the dread I felt then. I’m not so much afraid for my life. I’m where I want to be when I die. I dread this season of death that is coming.

I start each morning with a candle and I sit face to face with the facts of the matter and throw myself at the mercy of reality. This more or less describes what I aspire to in my meditation period. 

Breathe in life. As long as you breathe, you breathe life. From first breath to last you live and then you do not. At the end of life we are left with the facts of the matter, the stuff we leave behind, the memories that are remembered until they are forgotten. What consolation can I give the dying? What consolation could I give my dying wife. What could I possibly say? I listened to her gnomic phrases. We took care of her and her friends took care of me. We can try to take care of each other now. As Jacqui would say, that’s where God is.

I try to keep up on what is known about the pandemic and I know it is expected to soon get very bad and then gradually get better, although it might come back. Obsessive hand washing and keeping six feet away from the few people we see might be the way we will live for now on. Social distancing and the rest is something we’ll get used to, like we got used to the absence of the twin towers. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Dark Advent

As the song goes,
Night and Day, You are the One.
Only You beneath the Moon,
and under the Sun.
(Cole Porter)

Let’s start with Day.
Day is Sun rise to Sun set, and then it is Night.
65 revolutions around the Sun and I now have Medicare,
so I saw a bunch of doctors.

The following issues were addressed with the dermatologist:
sun-damaged skin
personal history of skin cancer
family history of skin cancer
multiple benign nevi
actinic keratosis
seborrheic keratosis
cherry angioma
She burned off some precancerous spots from my face. Avoid sunlight, use sunscreen.

The sphere of the world is enlivened by Light that is generated by Sun, which gives no thought to us and our crops and suntans and skin cancer, 
because Sun has no concern with the little orbiting spheres that are caught in its gravity or the lives that live on them.

The following issues were discussed with the cardiologist:

Abnormal EKG and hypertensive heart disease without heart failure. Blood pressure 140/90. Medication is amlodopine and atorvastatin.

Moon dominates the night, when she’s there,
and she also sometimes appears in daylight,
not really adding more light to Sun’s,
but her image, her face, is visible, and her presence known,
because unlike Sun, Moon we can look at directly.

The following issues were addressed during a routine follow-up examination:

Essential hypertension
Major depressive disorder, recurrent episode, moderate
Obesity BMI 30-39.9
Medication: Bupropion and flu shot.

Moon unveils and conceals her body with darkness,
as she exposes herself to Sun.
She isn’t always there, but she comes and goes in a regular way, like Sun, but circling us, as we circle Sun.
But Sun’s way is not Moon’s way 
and Moon does her disappearing reappearing act while rising and setting, 
an amazing dance counter to ours around Sun.

The following issue was discussed with the otolaryngologist:

The acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor, in my left inner ear. If the tumor grows it can cause hearing loss and loss of balance and paralysis of facial muscles. If it presses against the brain stem it can be life-threatening.

Sun has one beat and Moon has another,
and the two ways don’t exactly align by Human measure.
We want to grasp Time in our hands, so we measure it and number it, but it flows through our digits.

The day I went in for the MRI I had to sit in a waiting room for a long time. A TV with a big screen and no sound kept showing scenes of Notre Dame Cathedral burning down. The procedure is not pleasant. They squeeze me into a tube and close the hatch. It is like being buried alive only then they start banging on the steel crypt with ax handles and lead pipes. I am being tortured and I divert myself by thinking about the Spanish Inquisition and ICE detention centers, but knowing that worse situations than mine occur doesn’t sooth me. I think of St. John of the Cross, tortured and put in solitary confinement where he writes poems and plans his escape.

From the perspective of the living, Death is at most a twilight zone of projections from the Unconscious. There is a dreamless phase of deep sleep that is oblivion, and from this everyday experience of the Void, we get a notion of Nothing, as at noon, we think we see Being clear and illuminated. This daily/nightly cycle of Nothing and Being in our consciousness is a wheel that expands and contracts within the lunar transformational wheel, the solar wheel of the Year, an elliptical wheel. Measured in years, a Human lifespan is sometimes 100 revolutions of Earth around Sun, rarely more than that.

Every year I will have an MRI to see if the tumor in my head is growing. It might stay the same or it might, if untreated, bring me down like the stone brought down Goliath. I can’t feel it, but I think of it as like a pebble in my shoe, except I can’t unlace the side of my skull to remove it. It would require brain surgery. I don’t know how much of a threat it really is, but I have a general sense of dread. I’m anxious about this thing in my head and also anxious about the instability of democracy in our broken republic, as well as anxious about my financial situation — and How am I going to make a living next year? — and will they really cut Medicare?
Or give Medicare to all?

I meditate, I pray, before dawn, and I don’t know what to say, what Name to use, what pronoun to use to address the transgendered transcendent Is-ness. But underground, Unconscious, among neurons and neurotransmitters, perhaps, new connections or new disconnections, and reformulations of activity, are happening out of reach of language and number and conscious grasp. Infused contemplation, as the Mystical Doctor put it.

Advent is one long dark night of the solstice, passing over the actual solstice into the traditional feast of the season. This is the Kairos moment in the revolution when Earth halts its tilt away from the Sun and begins its slow tilt back toward the Sun.

I hope to emerge from the dark night like a seedling pushing out of the dirt and reaching for the Sun, hungry for light, and so on — the dark night of my soul’s journey to the Light, I hope and pray — day and night, night and day.