Monday, June 29, 2009


*Preface: It's late, and I'm thinking in rapid succession, probably because I'm tired. So please excuse the quality of writing and thought.

For a while now I've had this whole detached spirituality. I was raised Catholic but whenever I felt I truly experienced God, it was on my own or outside of the church. I attribute almost all that I know spiritually to being raised a Catholic. It is just hard to feel any sort of attachment to the church for me. The Catholic church has many beautiful traditions that carry on into their church services, but I am not truely feeling God through it. It feels like a place I can go to stay content, not moving backwards or forward. It's comfortable but stagnant, something that begins to take its toll after a while.
I relied on spiritual moments from a day to day basis. I would recognize God in people and places and sunsets and words and images and silence. I love these moments more than anything in the world. I feel like I come face to face with God.

Why is it that as I type these words I feel as if I'm typing cliche after cliche? Or am I just viewing these things through societies biased filter? Should I even be talking this way on here? Is it self-aggrandizing? Am I really meaning what I say?
I am, I know I am. I feel foolish when I write things like this. But it is true. I know there is a higher power because of the moments I speak of and the feelings I have felt.

After visiting Utah, I saw faith in action as I had never seen before. The Mormon faith is pretty beautiful. The people are so unbelievably devoted, and it's inspiring. The social behavior is refreshing compared to a secular society that practices excess in just about every aspect. The girls dress and act respectively, but not in an over-the-top evangelist conservative way. They don't feel the need to show skin, or make sensual advances towards the opposite sex. When the people interact with each other, they are genuinely interested in knowing more about the other. This results in natural, sincere relationships that last. Mormons refrain from alcohol and addictive substances because they believe in being aware at all times. Always available for one of those beautiful spiritual moments.
I'm not necessarily shooting down the secular society. I don't think alcohol is the devil! or anything extreme like that. I do like to drink every once and a while. It's just a matter of showing the other side of the spectrum and how inspiring it was. And yes, I realize this is a very one-sided, basic view of the Mormon faith, but it's the part the stood out to me the most. I wish my description was a better written more complete thought on the faith. But's 4:30am.
These ways of living and thinking are not repressive in any way, if anything they are freeing.

The word that sticks the most is "genuine". Mormons are genuine people. They do more than wear their hearts on their sleeve. They are completely out in the open, their purity refreshing, not creepy or phony. They are simply trying to be the best human beings they can be. I know I have been collectively grouping ALL Mormons together. But I guess I do this because these are the guidelines the religion sets, and most are pretty faithful to them. It really is refreshing to see.

I don't know if this means I'm meant to be a Mormon or if it means I'm going to reconnect with my Catholic roots or something. But one thing I am sure of is that I have forever been influenced by the Mormon religion and way of life. I will take the things I have experienced and attempt to apply them to my life in one way or another. You don't even have to be religious in any way to respect, understand, practice social Mormonism.

There still are big issues that hold me back from completely handing myself over to a religion. I feel like there are so many paths to God. Why is it that our form of worship of God is any better than the worship by Buddhists? or Muslims? Ok, yes, Jesus Christ. But if you are raised Muslim why shouldn't you practice and believe it? Muslims experience God too. They feel the same way Christians feel about their God. I just don't understand how one religion can say they are the one true way. There are also other things like the acceptance of the gay lifestyle or the acceptance of the death penalty. The fact that most all Christian denominations, including Mormons believe gay people to be second class human beings (ok, so maybe this is taking things out of context, but if they can't have the same rights as straight humans what does that make them?) I just see many contradictions with church teachings and our society. I get sucked into that whole "religion is man-made" hole that I know is mostly wrong but sometimes right. I don't think God has let religion fall completely out of grace.
I DO believe religion is essentially good, a positive force on earth. It's just the things I mentioned above that make me curious as to what I should do for myself and God. I try not to think TOO much about it. For now, I'll enjoy these beautiful moments and continue to thank the Creator.

God, show me the way...and I'll follow. (the clear way, free of my own doubts and fears)

This song has been a source of inspiration for numerous thoughts lately. It's a video, but just listen to the song itself...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Notes from an Airport

Airports are beautiful.
I've always been attracted to them. I think it's because of the commotion and excitement of it all. There are so many different kinds of people going so many different places. And I'll never get over the marvel of a plane lifting off into the sky. It's perfect, the weightlessness of the tires leaving the cracked runway.
Sitting in an airport terminal is a privilege. Not anyone can just walk into its glass barricades and sit in one of the many cheap pleather seats at each gate. You have to have a ticket. And with a buddy pass, you never know when you'll have the privilege of not making it on a flight, forced to sit in the tranquility of the busy terminal to people-watch.

The old airport attendants sit in abandoned wheelchairs talking sports and politics. Their graying hair compliments their formal navy blue vests and dress shirt uniform.
I go into the restroom and one of them follows me. He is humming loudly, occasionally voicing a few lyrics as he relieves himself. He's happy.
To spend my days in an airport terminal amongst the hustle and bustle and quiet interludes between flights. To see the faces and hear the voices of such a diverse array of people everyday.
I think the attendant is a lucky man.

Bukowski keeps me company. His terse prose shoves the truth down my throat as I sit among the blue collared works he speaks of while they're on the lunch breaks in the back of the terminal cafeteria. They sit in thinly padded seats, their neon uniforms as colorful as their language.

I'm slowly but surely becoming familiar with the faces of this place. As the janitors make their rounds, they notice me, also making my rounds. There is a moment of understanding. He knows I'm not just one of the others billowing past, blackberry attached to ear, lips sputtering words, eyes ignoring the multifarious enchantment of the passing travelers.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Notes from a Drive Home

And all at once, the world became this beautifully methodical sequence of events.
The neon of the gas signs were bokeh city lights and the tire treads on the roadside shook like red autumn leaves as cars swiftly passed. A sparrow flew in sync with my car gliding with the warm summer breeze. A line of cars made their way towards me in the opposite lane, their headlights dim lanterns in the evening horizon.
Horse girl rode her bike along the path. Horse girl was a small girl about the age of my sister who always rides her bike up to the pasture to feed the horses baby carrots. Every time I see her, she waits patiently at the gate, the horses ignoring her off in the distance. This time she rode with satisfaction spread across her face, a crumpled baggie bunched in her fist. The horses had been close enough to feed this time.
I saw the face of God in the deep oranges and purples of a particularly well defined cloud. The golden rays gushed into the off-set blues and greys. Heaven had made itself evident tonight.

The world was putting on a show. A revival of sorts. The scenes and characters were all the same - all too familiar episodes of life I pass on a daily basis without taking a second glance. But today, it was being revisioned. I was watching a masterpiece. It was cinema in its purest form. The discolored fabric car seat and cool air conditioning my theatre, the windshield my silver screen.