Writing Challenge: “Unfaith,” and Then Faith

The WordPress Daily Prompt/Post: Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.

Religious faith in my family was eclectic: My father, at the encouragement of his second wife, became a Pentecostal; my mother was Baptist/Methodist; my mother’s mother was Methodist; my mother’s father was Jehovah Witness who eventually remarried a Mennonite; my stepfather, as I remember, of no particular religion, occasionally read his big, blue Masonic Bible, which intrigued us kids. I had a chance to sample them all (with the exception of the Mennonite), though I was more or less raised with Baptist/Methodist teachings.

religionsOne evening during my thirteenth year on earth, I was sitting on the porch of our house watching the changing colors of the sky, changing in part because of the steel mills that were the source of jobs for our city. Suddenly, the sky, with its smears of purple and blue and gold, reminded me of the biblical pictures of the portal to Heaven. From there I went on to think about Christian dogma: the creation, the Garden of Eden, the Virgin Birth, Heaven and Hell. It was then that I lost, no, rejected faith in the Christianity that I’d been taught. It was then that the Bible stories took on a more mythical character, mythical as in Roman and Greek mythology. The Book of Revelations had symbolism that horrified me, though I found the teachings of Jesus and his disciples gentle. You could say that I “unfaithed” myself based on my own philosophical bent. And I became hostile to all organized, formalized religions and adopted the “religion is the opiate of the people” position. I felt that I had been misled, tricked. Continue reading

The Winter Solstice — in Poetry

December MoonDecember MoonMay Sarton

Before going to bed
After a fall of snow
I look out on the field
Shining there in the moonlight
So calm, untouched and white
Snow silence fills my head
After I leave the window.

Hours later near dawn
When I look down again
The whole landscape has changed
The perfect surface gone
Criss-crossed and written on
Where the wild creatures ranged
While the moon rose and shone.

Why did my dog not bark?
Why did I hear no sound
There on the snow-locked ground
In the tumultuous dark?

How much can come, how much can go
When the December moon is bright,
What worlds of play we’ll never know
Sleeping away the cold white night
After a fall of snow. Continue reading

Dogs Bring Comfort to Connecticut

The specially trained retrievers arrived with cuddles and licks and just plain calm. Comfort dogs, better known as therapy dogs, on loan from as far away as Chicago via the Lutheran Church Charities. They even teased out smiles amidst the tragedy from children and adults alike.

Comfort Dogs 6Confort Dogs 1Confort Dogs 2Stroking … can enhance memory, shorten recovery time after an injury, help curb depression, open lines of communication… Continue reading

Life in the Boomer Lane

goldie

A favorite activity of celeb mags, when they aren’t detailing Taylor Swift’s boyfriend du jour or the imminent break up and/or marriage of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, is to haul out photos of older actresses and to shriek “More beautiful than ever!” “Never ages!” “What is her Secret?” “These Older Actresses Get Hotter Every Year!”

A favorite subject is Goldie Hawn.  In photo after photo, throughout the years, she flashes before our eyes.  An adorable and hot twenty-something.  An adorable and hot thirty-something.  An adorable and hot forty-something. An adorable and hot fifty-something.  An adorable and hot sixty-something (67, to be exact).

So it may come as a shock to some of us to have seen the latest photo of La Goldie in all her natural 67-year-old glory.  Sans personal make up artist.  Sans personal hair stylist.  And most of all, in the moment, as opposed to fixing her…

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12-21-12

use

A lot of tongues have been wagging for a couple of years now about the meaning of the dreaded (or fully anticipated) December 21, 2012, the so-called end date of the Mayan calendar. Predictions run the gamut from an expansion of planetary consciousness to Armageddon.We hear this word apocalypse thrown around. Apocalypse, derived from the Greek apokalupsis, is simply defined as “a disclosure of something hidden from most of humankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception” (Wikipedia). Continue reading