I notice airport prayer rooms from time to time, but I’ve never been in one as I always seem to be in a rush. I don’t quite know what I would do in one anyway as I never pray. (As an atheist, to whom am I supposed to pray, exactly?) Assuming this facility is open to believers of all religions, how would it be decorated inside? Perhaps each wall could be dedicated to a different faith, so you’d have a Christian wall with a cross on it or a picture of Jesus, a Moslem wall with a star and crescent symbol and some extract from the Koran done in beautiful calligraphy, a Hindu wall with an Om symbol and a picture of a deity, perhaps flying, and a Buddhist wall with a lotus and a picture of the Buddha.

Of course the chairs would have to be rotateable so the visitor can turn to face the right wall, and there’d have to be a rug for the moslems.

But then what about the Jews, the Animists, the Zoroastrians – you’d need an octagonal prayer room to get them all in; and I’ve left out the Rastafarians and the Sikhs.

No it’ll have to be a circular room with no symbols. I think a few landscape photos might be quite inspiring, put one in a contemplative frame of mind so to speak. A mountain range, a waterfall, a forest, a coral reef, the sky at night…

Yes that would suit me, a contemplation room: just the job!

[416, i&l, t&c]


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