prayer

Sep. 29th, 2007 11:53 pm
prydeful: (yartzeit)
[personal profile] prydeful
The reality, Kate is willing to admit as she scratches Lockheed’s back, is that she is, perhaps, not the best-behaved Jew the world has ever produced.

It’s been a long time since she thought about it as something religious, really. It’s hard to observe holy days when you’re in jail. Or a spaceship.

It messes with your sense of time, if nothing else.

And she feels stupid doing things on her own, and it’s not so much like sleeping with the large warm Russian boyfriend is something you can consider holy. She doesn’t have a clue of when she last saw a rabbi as anything other than someone just on the street.

And she kinda feels being an X-Man is sacrifice enough and abstaining enough to hold her for the rest of her life.

But being crappy at being Jewish doesn’t make her any less a Jew. In her head, it’s organized neatly: Daughter, Jewish, Genius, Dancer, Mutant. All of them were true from birth—even dancer she thinks was, just part of her, born with grace the way some people are born with double joints or the ability to run quickly, and the lessons brought it out—and some she knew sooner than others. Her earliest memories are of her mother and father; the ones after that are of grandparents, and with grandmother comes gold necklaces with Stars of David on them, comes prayers recited in words she didn’t understand yet.

She can’t stop being any of those things. They’re her.

And the thing about God is that she has no doubt He exists, and she’s pretty sure He’s not always a right bastard.

But she’s pretty sure He also can be whenever He likes. Or so she thinks; it’s the only way she can explain to herself how the world works.

So Kate doesn’t talk to God much, and likes to think there’s something of a mutual understanding going on there.

And then there are exceptions.

This is probably one. Which means she has to figure out where to start, and she’s never been good at that. There’s something about the way that Kurt prays that makes her jealous, in a way. She thinks it’s more being Kurt than being Catholic, but there’s something in the simple motion he makes of crossing himself and the way he says, “Amen” like he means it that always seems like he’s actually starting to talk to, well, God. That all the reverence is there, and that he is aware exactly who and what he’s daring to speak to.

And there are so many prayers for so many days, starting with Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha olam and it leading off into a dozen dozen different prayers and she’s even heard it by people who sounded like they really meant it, said it like Kurt says, “Amen” and Ororo says, “by the Bright Lady” and you know she means someone, Some One, who’s very real and there to her.

The thing is—well.

Kate’s not one of the people who can say things like that. She doesn’t understand. She doesn’t think she can be. It’s not natural.

She hopes, a little, that makes the attempt count more.

Lockheed’s on her legs, and Kate looks at him, silently, drifts fingers over his scaly wings, and whispers, “All right.”

Just that, as she gently shifts Heed to the side and bends to reach under her box. There’s a stub of a candle in it—she thinks it’s from an evening she’d made Piotr laugh by being ridiculously romantic, and that had been the point—and a lighter, both of which she removes and sets on the stand.

This isn’t really how anything should be done, but sometimes you have to do a thing now, because you’ve got the guts to do it now—and in a way this takes as much guts as anything else.

“For—for the son of Simon and Kaylee Tam,” she says, after a moment, and it’s not that it has to be done, it’s not that it fits exactly into any rite or ritual but—

So many different traditions light a candle to remember someone lost. And there’s a candle, and it’s what she has to try and make this feel right, feel formal.

Feel, admittedly, something beyond like she’s stumbling about on a path she’s never really worried about knowing all that well or not.

And it’s harder, because it’s not for her son, not for her loved one. It’s for that of a friend, and so she can’t even say the words the way she did in Piotr’s memory, say for the memory of her beloved.

Really, she doesn’t know what to say at all.

So she stares at the candle, for a moment, and then closes her eyes and doesn’t say anything at all.

Doesn’t, exactly, think anything, either. It’s not scripting it out in her head. Words matter—words matter so much—but she doesn’t have the words for this one, and so instead she thinks only Please and tries to put all her hopes and fears and desires behind it.

For it to get better for them. For the baby to be loved, wherever it is he is. For Simon to look less tired, and for him to not worry about his marriage on top of the rest. For it to not be a thing that needs to be worried about. For there to be less pain, and for grieving to take place. For the loss to never be less there, but to be something that doesn’t interfere with life continuing on. For the right things to happen for them, whatever that is—for their marriage to get better, or for it to not, but for it to be what’s right for Simon and Kaylee both. And if the right thing is one that hurts, then for the pain to be dealt with and something that doesn’t stop them from continuing to live or find joy, together or apart.

Please is the only word she has, because she doesn’t think she can say, thank you yet and doesn’t know if she’s going to be able to at all. She can’t say thank you for whatever God gives.

But normally she can’t even say please, so she hopes, a little, that she gets points for effort. If there are points.

This is why she doesn’t think about religion too much. She hates things she can’t see clear answers to.

But she tries to think on it a little more, now. Long enough to watch the stub of wax melt and the flame sputter out. And she’s not sure she knows how to end any better than she knew how to start with this, so she just nods once, and throws the wax in the garbage, and settles on the bunk again.

Lockheed crawls back onto her lap and she bends her head to kiss his snout.

And she thinks please once more, for herself and for Piotr, and then makes herself stop.

Because some prayers you know won’t ever be answered.

So Kate kisses Heed again, and she wishes that Piotr will come home to her soon.

(This she can’t pray for. And if she realized it, Kate would admit that really—that says everything about what she thinks of God answering prayers.)
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Kate Pryde | Shadowcat

July 2016

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