Today, for the first time in perhaps ever, I went to church. I’ve always considered myself deeply entangled with spirituality, but rejected many aspects of Christianity that related to guilt, repentance, and denying yourself indulgences and pleasures. As a self-identified Maenad, I find that I am at my spiritual peak when experiencing life to it’s fullest. It never made sense to me that we should be born into this world for the purpose of being sorry.
The church I went to was a Unitarian Universalist church. To quote their official website, “Unitarian Universalism is a theologically diverse religion that encourages people to seek their own spiritual path.”
As a God-believing universe-praying spell-casting pantheist witch, I felt right at home! Their messages spoke directly to my core being, expanding upon values of loving your neighbor, loving yourself, allowing yourself to experience life’s gifts, and giving back to your community. The sermon included a frank discussion about ending white supremacy, and honestly, my favorite phrase – “Eat those apples! Bake an apple pie!”.
The sermon also included a full recitation of this incredible poem, nodding it’s head to the specific pleasure-moments of life, and welcoming back the reign of spring. I was so touched by this writing I felt the need to share it with all of you now, on this little blog, that has more to do with fashion than with faith. Without further adieu:
Try To Praise the Mutilated World
Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
I don’t know what exists out there, beyond the horizon. Perhaps it’s a great God, perhaps it’s a slow beat of energy guiding us all along our paths, and perhaps it’s nothing but particles and dark matter and stardust. But I do know that in my bones, when I am alive, I feel the universal love of the world humming in my ears. I am guided not by a religion, but by my willingness to be kind and generous to others, and find pleasure in this life.
I wish you all a bountiful summer filled with wild strawberries, and drops of rosé wine.