first communion

Writing and prayer have always meant the same thing to me. When I was a little girl and things got dark or lonely or frightening, I would line up words like a little boy might line up toy soldiers, and I would build a beautiful fortress with them. I’d create a “better place”. I’d make dreams come true. And I always took care to give myself a lead role and a terrific costume.first communion

Nothing has changed.

I was largely unchurched growing up. Perhaps that is why I’ve never felt the need to rebel against my faith because it was never small and it was never man made.

My Dad was a cultural Catholic, barely. My experience of his faith is summed up in my sacrament of confirmation. I chose him as a sponsor: someone who is supposed to be your spiritual advisor. He showed up late for the mass, smelling of beer and cigarettes, and while the priest was speaking he snuck me a little velvet box. In it was a necklace with the sign of leo on it. He stayed long enough for a photo, me wincing with the cigarette smoke, and then he was gone.

My Mom was, compared to the fundamentalists around us, very liberal. I remember one day cooking in the kitchen, pushing around pork chops and mushroom soup sauce…both of us in horrible eighties perms…and she said, carefully, that she felt heaven and hell were states of mind, not actual places. It opened up a whole world to me.

One of the most important things I learned about God and Writing was from one of the founding brothers of Rosebud, Laverne Erickson. (brothers makes it sound like a cult…but really…two brothers, Tim and Laverne Erickson, started the school and theatre) He revealed to us that “the word” mentioned in the first of John, was not exclusive to scripture. The root of it meant “creative energy”. In the beginning was the creative energy and the creative energy was with God and the creative energy is God. It was in the beginning with God, all things are made through it, and not anything that was made was not made. In the creative energy was life, and the life was the light of humankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

It’s interesting how reasonable faith is with the right words.



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