Friday, July 29, 2011

church on the radio.

every sunday at 11 am i listen to church on the radio. it's broadcast from a chapel at boston university on the banks of the charles.

i am not a religious person. not by nature and not in practice. but i have spirituality and beliefs that run deep and get deeper as i get older.

i love church on the radio.

and when people find out that i listen to church on the radio or that i love the virgin mary or that i regularly pray, sometimes to god, they give me the same look they give me when i try to convince them that i am not a vegetarian and that i am not a 'hugger.'

it is simply not fashionable among some segments of the population to believe in god. or his son. and, some people simply don't believe. and that's just fine with me. always.

but. i do. i also believe in gaia and witches and fairies and the absolute divinity of a much needed cheeseburger and the salvation that comes with a well timed dirty martini. three olives, please. and if you think i'm being cheeky adding in the last two you don't know me very well.

i believe in so many things, my spirituality is shaped by so much it's impossible to pinpoint any one influence. and yet it's funny how there are those who zero in on my 'god thing' as it has been called.

and i fully understand people who don't believe as i do, that there is a god. god. or any god. though the way i see it is that beyond the god we all know from experience or popular culture is that there are many. gods. and they aren't all male. and they aren't all gods. thank god. really.

the thing about belief and spirituality separate from religion is you get to choose. and no one gets to tell you what you choose to believe is wrong. NO ONE.

believing in the ability of something/one to call upon, in the existence of transcendence in its many forms, in the divine here on earth, is crucial for those of us who are mere silly mortals. and the beauty of the world and our individual relationships to it is that there is so.much.there.

and yet even in my belief of god there are also those who discount it as blasphemous. not real. because i don't believe in the way they believe. which is the most ridiculous notion. NO ONE gets to tell me what i believe is wrong.

there are a million ways to kneel and kiss the ground. whether you are on your knees or are arms open to the sun or flipping on the radio. painting a picture or creating a meal or nursing a baby. spirituality and belief take so many forms it's impossible for me to even fathom judging another for how they find theirs.

the other night i was in an angst that can only come from it being the day AFTER the day you turn 40 and the fact that a parent is dying and your children are growing older and the world is such a mess how do any of us even get out of the bed in the morning. so, i went on to you tube. and i listened to all the songs i loved from when i was young. a time when all practical experience to the contrary my faith in the world should not have been as strong as it was. and i basked in the reality that it just is. that life has its own rhythms and mine was to just go with it.

music was my prayer to find the handhold. to keep me steady. to hold me. to ground me.

and who is to judge whether that is 'just as good' as kneeling or confession or knowing the bible or you don't know or praying to a 'real' god. NO ONE.

i have these two friends. and both of these friends have a child(ren) who require more of their parenting skills than other children do. more of their 24/7 parenting hands on than other children do. all of it. all of them. all of their presence in nearly every single waking moment. all of their patience, their expansion, their faith. they are pushed daily, sometimes hourly i'd imagine, to find the balance. lather, rinse, repeat.

and both of these women have THE most incredible smiles i have ever seen on anyone in real life. the kind that not only meet their eyes but they bore into your soul and they settle there. and they burst open. and you smile, too. it's amazing, really.

being in their presence brings me a peace and a measure of comfort, a reminder that life is and ours is to just go with it. like they have to. like they do. and they do and they are smiling. to have faith that life is not what we have been given, but what we choose to make it. no matter what. and they show that to me with their actions and with their smiles. it is divine. it is peering into to the light.

and who is to judge whether that is 'just as good' as kneeling or confession or knowing the bible or you don't know or praying to a 'real' god. NO ONE.

lately the world seems to be so incredibly tragic and sad. it threatens my sensitivity on the regular. there isn't a day that i don't consider giving up the paper and scrolling past the news on the internet. but i don't. won't. considering is as far as i get. because burying my head won't make it go away.

it's then i am reminded of a quote by abraham lincoln "I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day."

and that's when i remember that i am not alone. not alone in my overwhelming grief and incomprehension. that my belief and spirituality give me somewhere to go and lay it all down.

and i think that's quite amazing. really. i think being able to lift my head or get on my knees or sit in front of the buddha in the back yard under the big pine tree or talk to my friend who has been dead for too many years or turn on the radio or you tube or re-read siddhartha or the dharma bums or create a meal that takes hours and is wolfed down in 7 minutes or do yoga or get wildly drunk or watch pretty in pink for the millionth time and to lay it all down is such a gift i cannot imagine not having that.

today i am sick. my throat is sore. i need soup. i need a shower. i need to clean my house. i want someone to hold me and i want to be left fully alone. my father is dying and has just been put on a constant and double dosed morphine drip. they said it could be hours. days. maybe a week. two weeks. more? one cannot know with these things. it's in another's hands now. he's 3200 miles away. i need to brush my teeth. i'm afraid of the new bathing suit in the box on my desk. i'm afraid. i'm at peace. i'm hurting. my sisters are in pain. my family.

i have been on my knees and lifted my arms and i have taken the deep breaths and i have said, are you there? because pretty soon my heart is going to break. and i just need you to hold me in the light while that happens. so that i can be okay. eventually.

i've called on who i need and now i'm listening to stevie nicks. one more tool in my spiritual arsenal. breathing easier.

and i tell you what, if i didn't have that, all of it, i cannot imagine how this would and is all going to play out.

hold on to what you believe in and don't let anyone fuck with that. NO ONE gets to tell you what you believe is wrong. hold on to it because at some point, if it hasn't already, it will be your greatest gift right when you need it the most.

be blessed, x.


gojirama said...

You are amazing....this is pure truth. I love you and am praying for you.

Wendy said...

you are a blessing.