Most of my morning prayers lack all piety and right-ness, or righteousness, for that matter. But, like Sunday Liturgy, if I skip them, the day goes to hell.
I've learned to wake before the alarm. That habit began years ago, long before I made a morning prayer rule. It started with my first alarm clock, a Lloyd's hand-me-down from my mother-- still alive and proof that old stuff was made to last. It still bleats like a lamb being stabbed. In college I got a bit superstitious about the hideous noise. I believed my day would prove unlucky if my ears heard the anguished bleating. Until I got an iphone clock, I used it. For a couple of years it lay in the bottom of a sock drawer. Now my thirteen-year-old uses it. It proves its mettle, getting him out of bed in its noisome glory. I tell myself, that it contributed to my prayer rule, however, impious. I would try to beat it awake and so, for a long time, I woke ten or fifteen minutes before its cries and that became a perfect for prayer, prone pose.
The older I become, the earlier my body salutes the new day. In spring, I rise with the sun. As the seasons warm and brighten, I cannot burrow into the firm mattress with its eggshell top, under the quilt of Guatemalan patchwork. I cannot succumb to the drug of my neighbor's wood-burning stove. I pray. I stare out my window into the void that is white vinyl siding of my neighbor's house, a mere eight feet from me. I recite words that call me out of fog.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
If I were pious, I would lumber out of bed and kneel. I taped an icon of Christ the Savior on my window trim. I could stand before it in the dawn light. Or, at least I could bother to make the sign of the Cross. But the covers are so heavy. I am the dead, the sleeper being called to action: Awake, awake, O Sleeper. Arise from the grave.
Alas. I lay in prone pose.