If you’ve followed me and my meandering spiritual path (which, since it occupies a significant chunk of my mental space and therefore my poetry, has been a rather public one, which I have not let make me feel I couldn’t take whatever turns I was led to take, following the small, quiet voice that leads me), then you may or may not have seen coming what just happened. I surely didn’t.
So several weeks ago, since our pastor (at a congregational church we had joined about a year and a half ago, after my husband and I had both separately had our conversion experiences, his involving calm and rational intellect and mine hallucinations and vomiting, because that’s the way I roll, y’all — really, when in “Poem In Which I Address Richard Dawkins As Dick“ I say my soul “has grabbed me by the neck/ and thrown me down,” I’m not kidding) had announced that he was going to deliver a sermon about Martin Luther and the glories of capitalism, my husband decided we ought to check out the Greek Orthodox Church downtown, since already he and the boy (who grows a pretty excellent beard, btw), had been feeling pulled to Orthodoxy. Hubby had actually been baptized and christmated as an infant into a small Orthodox sect at a Carpatho-Rusyn Catholic church in Pennsylvania, as his father had been, and his father before him. A church actually part of the Greek Rite. And they were both craving weekly communion. And I rather failed to see the point of communal worship without it, myself.
And the church we went to was beautiful. And the liturgy was beautiful. Mostly standing, mostly sung. Long story short, we changed churches. And a few weeks into it, I’m thinking, really? Orthodox? I was facing the decision, whether or not to undergo the sacrament of chrismation, to officially convert. You might imagine what could give me pause.
And then, taking a rare moment on Twitter, this comes across my feed, shared by Milkweed Press, the press I’m intent on having publish my second book of poems, because the place the excerpt talks about, Maaloula, had just seen some of the violence that continues to tear apart Syria. And it felt like Godstuff. So much so that I chose St. Thekla as my patron, and I was chrismated two weeks ago. So that’s what happened. I’m now an Orthodox Christian. Me, who had poems published when I was still in Shreveport in American Atheist Magazine and Free Inquiry.
There’s a reason I call this blog “What I Meant To Say.” And God really does have a great sense of humor. And now I give an even bigger crap about what happens in Syria.