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Ordinary Round Moments

Joanna Campbell


  • I cheated again at Centering Prayer.
  • Instead of repeating one sacred word, I contemplated the weight of my prayer beads.  Or rather, their lightness, how they rest in my palm like a cloud.
  • Each wooden bead is a container for hundreds of prayers.  The cumbersome words are an unfinished painting.

  • There is an eye on each bead.
  • Really, these are knots.  They are the connective tissue from when the wood was part of a tiny branch—the place where the branch met the body of the tree.
  • I roll the beads between thumb and forefinger.  Often, there are no words—only the hope I am pushing toward something.
  • I try to ease into uncertainty.
  • There is a squirrel storing acorns inside our house.
  • My brother-in-law has Stage 4 cancer.
  • A woman will likely be executed tonight in Georgia.  Not even the Pope could sway the clemency board.
  • Seeing Jesus in the eyes of everyone we pass is an act of resurrection. Rarely do I practice this kind of medicine.
  • Buried beneath my anxiety is a young woman, deeply shaken by the sudden deaths of friends.
  • At a recent ordination, love rolled inside the sanctuary like a pinball. Give your clever talents over I heard in a hymn. They spilled out as tears.
  • I could not hide my face.
  • I want to be like the woman who sings at the oddest times.
  • Today, my loved ones are alive.
  • I need things to push against in order to give shape to a day.
  • The catch phrase, life is short, catches me in all the wrong ways.
  • Dang it.
  • I may already be living my dream.
  • I listen to a favorite song and hear familiar words for the first time, words like cool water, elegant and true. I make them my own, and they move between the beads.
  • Roll and push and touch our perfect bodies with your mind.  Touch our perfect bodies with your mind. Hear this broken meditation and touch our perfect bodies with your mind.