Saturday, April 21, 2012


I had dinner with Pete and his nephew last night and the topic of religion came up. Pete's nephew was presenting a paper at SUNY Stonybrook this week on the intertwining of Catholicism and Mayan culture. The conversation around this fascinated me. It was about the origins of faith, the parallels in every culture on this planet, and how at times the western variety religious teaching could be pretty insular.
My parents were an interfaith couple in a time when "the faiths" even if they were both "Christian" didn't mingle. I grew up hearing that the faith I was being raised in was the only "true" faith and that non-believers would surely go to hell, or purgatory, or somewhere really, really unpleasant. I grew up thinking that maybe my mom, even though she was a protestant, would be saved from certain doom just because she showed up at the catholic church twice a week to drop us off at Mass and CCD. Then later having to explain to my own children that daddy would surely not burn in HEdoublehockeystix for being Jewish and that "heaven" was not secular and full of separate faith-based rooms. My journey through life has led me to do some extensive research on religion and quite often I venture there metaphorically with my artwork. Why? I think it is that one word that stands out which is MYSTERY. That word "mystery"intrigues me. The risk of wonderment is almost as great as the RISK of jumping off a cliff and in most of my life. It is what drives me. I love flying by the SEAT of my pants! Despite leaving the "church" 10 years ago though, I have yet to give up my faith, that is TOO risky so I study other things as if I am searching for a reason to let go completely. Yet secretly, I pray that what I was taught to believe in will eventually stop being hypocritical and come around to the true meaning of the word catholic: broad scoped, liberal, open to ideas, and universal.

I eventually got back in my car and headed home just catching the tale end of This American Life. The episode: Return to the Scene of the Crime. Act 3: Our Man of Perpetual Sorrow, Dan Savage.

"Keeping you in my thoughts"