After I left Jeddah it is amazing how quickly you forget. I don’t pray. There are exceptions. Whenever I am operating and things have gone South, I pray, “Oh lord, get me out of this.” It works.
Ever confusing, the prayer times are five a day. I see seven here. Go figure. I don’t won’t needn’t and will not be….praying. I left and never again noticed how disruptive it has been. Forgotten. I go and come as I please. It used to be Murphy’s law. You show up and it’s prayer time!
Here’s how it works. The listed times change every day. It’s done according to the sun for which sunrise sunset changes every day. Duh! So, you need a website to tell you. Then, the times are local, which means that Jeddah and Riyadh are off by minutes. Who cares? Someone! The religious police? At a restaurant during Ramadan I sat waiting for evening prayer call and break fast. I watched the Makkah (Mecca) channel; it’s official right. (They march counterclockwise around the Kaaba 24/7) No! Don’t ask.
The local times are often loosely followed by shopkeepers who estimate – plus or minus 10 to 15 minutes or so. So, you show up and wait. Never try to accomplish more than one task between prayers. Traffic and the vagaries of when the next pray time will start, will always burn you. Everyone comes out after the last prayer time of the evening. You have the longest time to get things done, it’s night and the cool part of the day, and it is the unhealthiest time to eat – as in you get fat. The line around the takeout at McD is cars around the block at 5AM. When does, anyone sleep? Well, no one actually works except the Filipinos. So, everyone sleeps the rest of the time. La la land. I’m not missing it.
After the recent election there has been a good deal of turmoil. I daresay it is worse than any other time. We are deeply divided and this will not change nor will it be better any time soon. There are many calls to a peaceful transition. The passions are high, the sides are opposed, and the opponents are both horrified with each other. This is not a usual time. I feel unclean.
I am in Kansas in the Cathedral of the Plains. There was no one else there, not a soul, and we meditated. I lit a candle of my brother John. A church program talked of the turmoil within the congregation. The sign said enough to make me realize that I am not alone. There are 59 million other voters who disagree with my view. Some I call friends. Others I would rather not know because I cannot understand their vote. And, they cannot understand me. I am sad. But I also know that I am not alone. At a place far from my home, I have found there are those who share the same concern. We may have lost our way but we are not lost. One man one vote, there is virtually nothing else to be done until the next opportunity comes in a couple years. Petitions, demonstrations, protests, marches, all are useless. The vote is done. No one will care about what I say or do now. Only my vote in two years may have any possibility to change things. Don’t forget. I won’t. There will be a reckoning. My vote will count then. To be sure, you will remember then that I did not forget.