Ora et labora
Ora et labora Spoken Prayers
The mason, the engineer, and the architect

The mason, the engineer, and the architect

A prayer to help you discern. Discern the moments, your feelings, and their intentions. Every mix brings out your shades but a few, a few can bring out your lights.


Alabaster skin on houses of worship the world over, from the walls of relic rooms in Teotihuacan to the Bahai dome of Santiago.

Alabaster like her skin and mine, freckled with the salt and spice of a life well lived, of lives we have loved.

Similarly, the walls of our sites of worship, hardened paint on walls and flakes of stucco on the floor, freckles of others, their stories of worship, love, and lending.

Lending your eyes,
Lending your optics,
We were only supposed to lend our stained glass that leaves us dancing in yellow, reds, blues, and greens.

Somehow. somewhere. someone sold us on pink!
We were sold on a pair of rose colored glasses.
A life has become unattainable, non-sustainable,
and with more pink came tides of violent blue.
So we created the world, a world of binaries and now.
Now, we are stuck in its undercurrents.

Rose colored glasses. More fragile than any Alabster slab, only worn to be smashed.

Mine, were smashed by a mason, one who was adamant on building their road on top of my home.

And while my heart had to go into hiding to survive the massive highway, which he erected on top of my green shoulders,
and from the smithereens of my spectacles.

In its hiding my heart grew. It grew into a mason itself, and it built me a natural crossing, green, lush, safe, and withstanding;
Above his highway,
for all my wilderness to cross, for my deer to run,
for my ivy to grow:
unhindered, unbothered, and unkempt.

You see,
every act done with love is worship. We cannot control the love that guides another person’s heart, the mason had love, he had love for his puppeteering, for his performance, for his build.

For him it was worship, and some worship centers have a void to fill.
He taught me that a void of abandon can never be full.
To quell a narcissistic fire you have to stop feeding it.

No. not even water.
صيام مقبول
you know. It starts off like all of us,
welcoming to plans.

What goes into it?
Who carves it?
Where does it end up?

The same questions that mold us, those are the answers that determine how fragile our Alabaster will be.

But is fragile really always a bad thing?
Are we all here summoned to fulfill some anti-fragility?

If it were not for the translucence of alabaster slabs, that also makes it fragile, day time in the dome would not be the same, it would not bring in light in so many shapes and sizes.
That light that stirs up your heart and ignites your cells with love and dreams.

If everything had steel like qualities,
or concrete opacity,
what kind of prayers would we sing?

prière: to ask
Ask what? To who?


The engineer. They are many. They were many.
I think engineers have good will. They also may have good intent.
The engineers I have met did not choose their tools, they just settled for excel.
Excel sheets, optimization formulas, and derivative futures.

He. They,

They juggle batons of dependence and independence of variables in a constant race to square the world, while their legs run its circumference.

They were beautiful men, eager to fix the world, to fix my faults, un-break my heart.

"the derivative represents the variation of the dependent variable respect to the independent one.” ( just Quora )

& Functions

That is all they could see.
What if there is none.
What if it is all our expression of light.
The way we transform it. We feel it. We shine it onto the world.

Bless their spirits and their excel sheets,
engineers will keep on keeping
they will keep on walking.

You must need an engineer, you cannot want one.
A derivative of two independent variables?
well, there is none.



Her skin. Her Heart. Alabaster.

What do we discern?

Some buildings are lungs, some people are home | 23 April 2022

We discern pleasure, as the ultimate life source running through us, while life can dictate that we run marathons away from pain.

Our easiest route back to us. to life.
Is always towards pleasure, we know it, they know it.
That is why you are born with a number and a track suit ready.

Pleasure: Attraction. Desire. Body Response. The trifecta.

Every mason can build scaffoldings for attraction.
Every Engineer can optimise their moves to tigger a body response.
It takes an an architect to draw out pleasure.

Architects of desire,
Find them.
Be them.
Raise them.

Let us live in a world of pleasure and the joyful worship in finding it.
in designing it.
in architecting it.

You cannot optimise pleasure.
You cannot source it in bits.

Yet, all are needed.
The Mason, The Engineer, and the Architect.

No better. No worse,
Alabaster just calls for contours.
Black onyx may call for light strobes.

All. All is worship.
Some of it on war ships.
Some of it through friendships.
and for some it is fleeing hells of war and water on a smuggler’s battleship.
Away from pain. No horizons for pleasure.

May we wet the Alabaster on the walls of our hearts, every season.
So that we can keep our frescos fresh, so we remind ourselves that we can paint over them, so we can look at the beauty of our own architecture.
of what makes us.
of what could break us.
with grace, gratefulness, and humility.

May we absorb the daytime lights.
May we emit our light through midnights.

The Bahá'í Temple just outside of Santiago by Hariri Pontarini Architects

A m e n

Ora et labora
Ora et labora Spoken Prayers
(spoken) Secular prayers to hold your hand through the apocalypse(s). Take what you need.
Listen on
Substack App
RSS Feed
Appears in episode