My grandmother was a remarkable woman, and her home was full of remarkable things that she’d accumulated during her many trips visiting far off lands. In my mind’s eye, I can still see many of the items laid out with care in her house: on the mantle, the bookshelves, and various end tables. One fascinating and beautiful object was a handheld Tibetan prayer wheel. It had a cylinder of metal worked with intricate patterns, which was mounted on a wooden handle such that the cylinder could spin. It had a little chain with a bead attached to the cylinder, so that when you spun the cylinder, it would make the little beaded chain click and clack. My grandmother explained that there were prayers written inside the cylinder, and that when you spun the wheel, these prayers were released into the universe, over and over again. I would think about this, as I spun the wheel, and listened to the clickety clack of the bead. I would imagine the prayers flying out from the wheel and out into the world.
I thought of this object, as I wrote postcard after postcard in the last few months. Writing the cards was meditative and soothing to me, channeling my energy into the messages. I felt a little like writing the messages was a bit of a prayer released into the universe. Little wishes that our democracy will stay strong, and that our future will be one of hope. I would repeat these mantras to myself, as my pens scratched out messages on card after card. I sent these messages off into the universe (as well as off into the US postal service).
Tonight, on the eve of another momentous US election, there isn’t much more work I can do. So I will continue to send off more wishes that our democracy will hold strong, and that people will show up across the country to make their voices heard.