Don’t Miss Much

I left the church years ago. I have a solid foundation for my rejection from 8 years of parochial school education including catechism classes, daily mass and a smart-alek boy who referred to our priest as Padre after watching (a banned) Saturday Night Live episode.

I get the references to Christianity when they show up in film, in “news entertainment” commentary, in arguments for and against feminism and traditional choice making. The references are all around us, so embedded into the culture and the routines of life, living and death.

About 10 years ago, the Catholic church I attended at that time played a recorded message from the bishop during the sermon. It was about how to vote in the next election and instructed parishioners to give his and her vote to the candidate who stood behind the church’s unwavering stance on birth control and family planning.

I joined with several other women in turning my back to the altar. Facing the congregation for the duration of the message was not difficult. I stood tall and stared defiantly into the eyes of any who chose to meet mine.

I don’t miss much.


But I do miss the music.


#for Reticent Mental Property. Youtube:Tori with Little Drummer Boy

The Altered Altar

RMPaltarCan’t talk now.  I’m in church – and today it is a yoga studio-  vacillating between confessing all my wants and seeking absolution from myself for taking the easy route.

I am my own judge, at least in my head, until i open my eyes and the mirror reveals my physical form as a woman, someone transformed by rites of a sacrament into someone I don’t recognize anymore. Now, seeking new holy places, creating labyrinths of meaningful encounters,  lessons for my own sanity, divine interventions of the carnal kind, I embrace my wholeness.

Kneeling here in child’s pose assuages my conscience, diverts attention away from the mind-numbing conformity of this decade.

Today, praying to the nature god is as close as i can come to a true church. I find this one built on a cold but slowly warming rock, set solid on the side of a mountain, with a view facing the slowly rising sun.

Here and there, I sit, and I am present.

See, a glorious coffee in my hand, my bible the words of Muir, and on the sacrificial altar: my smallness, magnified by nature, and my words requiring no band of angels to shout above the simple quiet of the groves.

In this silence, my truth is honored.

Know me. Accept me.

I have.

The characters and connections of my choices, my life story, come to me on the mountainside, created and constructed in the image of my own history and my ego,  feeding my mind,  authoring champions in the lessons and defining moments.

I assign my heroes, my mentors, my guides. These are the relationships I have birthed and nurtured over the years,  the patient readers of my scenes, who join me in defining what we scrape off the page and I release within each lover’s bed until he is spent.

Today, my mind’s library joins me in this simple place, this studio, this church of mine.  The rows of mats, these familiar strangers, rising, falling, wanting, giving, never touching yet communing, and gratefully i lie down, and rest, and release, and maybe lie a little longer to myself.

His face, just another face, someone who needs her more than she needs him.  Her battle scars hold her accountable and where no scar exists, she will find a way to cut there, next.  She preys.  She craves this thinking business; this place of honesty without a pew.  

#for Reticent Mental Property

Churchless, not Godless

RPMwintertreeshumanresiliencetherapyNo need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. -Dalai Lama

No wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord.- John Muir

She was born into the wrong pew.  She misses the music the most. 

#for Reticent Mental Property