My favorite t-shirt was my first college t-shirt. It was gray (short sleeve of course) with burgundy letters that spelled SOUTHERN (all in caps). This was in the sixties, before , you had to actually go to the college bookstore to buy a school t-shirt. My older brother Howie went to SIU in Carbondale Illinois, and he brought me home my prized possession. What a treat! It was against the dress code to wear t-shirts to Jr. High, but I got my wear from it all the same.  And what kind of stuff is adding up in my house now?  Prayer books.

I think collections tell a lot about us. My BFF Debbie collects antique china creamers. She likes the kind that have luster. They’re delicate, graceful, and beautiful, just like her. My machetunum (in-law) Lily collects all things… lily! She has pictures, towels, and jewelry that have lilies on them, and now she’s collecting stuff with roses for our grand-daughter Rosie. I’m a little surprised to find myself with a collection. I’m not the flea market type and I intentionally avoid accumulating “things,” but I recently realized, that I am a collector after all. I have a book collection— prayer books.

I haven’t read the books in my collection, I pray with them.  There’s a difference between reading and worship. Sometimes I use a prayer book like I do a step stool, to reach high places. I open the page and hope the words will transport me to a place where I can connect with God. There are other times when I simply hold a prayer book in my hands, close my eyes and just pray.  When I feel the weight of a prayer book in my lap, I know I’m not alone.

We’re in the process of publishing a Prayables prayer book. The working title is, Personal Peace: Prayers for Women of Many Faiths. It’s a collection of prayers written by women of diverse faiths who tell stories in prayer. Prayables.com is still the first place to find these prayers, but it’s time to give women a prayer book unlike any other. Today, anyone with an idea and a few bucks can design a t-shirt or write a book. Let churn out more t-shirts, they’re great at it. We’ll push prayer online and in prayer books to help women find inner peace.  We won’t settle for anything less than too many prayers circulating throughout the globe.


Lost amongst my acres of knowledge
and mounds of books
I'm a mere academic,
Trying to make sense of life and love.

I own a mellifluous mountain
of meandering meaningless words
and I mouth them
when the moment arises.

I cannot tell the difference between
patois, idiolect, jargon, dialect,
idiom, argot, slang, and gobbledygook,
or colloquialism, waffle, claptrap.
I care not for ephemeral sounds;
"I'm sorry; I don't speak your vernacular."
I pray for someone to understand me.

-Tanja Cilia


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