My spiritual roots are Catholic. Easter was a church day. Although, my parents weren’t terribly committed to the practice. I have always felt that the brown and brick modern building of St. John Vianney church with it’s resurrected Jesus behind the altar made it more about the mystery than the misery. Something lives in us that connects to something greater… we belong and God ( that poorly described entity with a beard and a temper) was some how protecting and encouraging. My relationship to this ideology would shift and change thought out my journey yet I have never felt the need to sever the root. This was where I found a door way to the magical. Miracles. Things that pushed the edges of what we know into the mythical and mysterious. That gap of possibility, awe, and wonder. As a child this space was fertile ground for images, and ideas. Allowing me to further my pursuits to question and curiously explore the world around me.
My curiosity lead me to devour the sciences in my adolescence. This created conflicts and doubts about the truths the church was offering. My passions became Darwinism, evolution…. Biology… physics… and all the different ways to study the world/universe around me. These new ideas and concepts broke down the simple mysteries and challenged my naive beliefs… this was further complicated by my awareness of disease, war, poverty, sickness and the things that caused suffering that somehow could not be resolved in my teenaged angst mind. If there was a loving God, why would he allow such pain in the world… Isn’t that why his son supposedly died?
I went through the process of Confirmation when I turned 15. It was a series of classes and such to enter into being a full fledge member of the church/ congregation. It is designed to be a initiation. You take on a new name. There are responsibilities that are expected. There is a ritual. The last thing done before the ceremony is an interview with the priest. I went into that interview with questions… with doubts, with wanting to know if I was embarking on a path that could answer my millions of questions about life and universe…. Could the church support that? Was there room to think this way? Was I wrong to have such complicated ideas and yearnings?
The priest in the gentlest of ways said I would not find my answers in the church. That I would need to look elsewhere. And that my curiosity was not evil or against the will of God. I went through the motions of finishing my Confirmation for my family. Afterward I never went back to church in the same way.
Fast forward 41 years and I find myself on this Easter day in a world twisted into the complex ecology of a pandemic and it’s societal fall out. A cacophony of voices running the full spectrum of religious and scientific. The fragile existence of our species racked by the unseen pathogen that sees opportunities in the way we have evolved. The very human delusions , emotions, skills, intellect and persistence to find a way out of this. The irrational fears of finding a face or identity for the enemy…. the break down of the very systems that were supposed to take care of us…. the limits of scientific knowledge, the inadequacy of the economy… the willful ignorance and tricksters that see the opportunity to create chaos….As all this swarms around me, all these millions of questions explode in my brain… and this awakens in me something, it is born out of this embryonic fluid of chaos. That has not taken form, nor has a name… and I will never be the same because of it.