Monday, February 14, 2011

30 Days of Truth: Day 15

Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

Well, shit, that's easy: Diet Coke.  Y'all should've seen me on the 4th of this month, when I had run out and had no money to buy more.

Seriously, though: my church.  Not just the ECUSA, but St. Mark's.  Any Episcopal church will do in a pinch--I did love St. George's back in Honolulu--but there is always that hole if I am not going to the church I grew up in.  I can, and sometimes do, go great amounts of time without going to church.  I did not go at all during my pregnancy, for a variety of reasons that started with how damned weak I am when I'm pregnant (I have to climb four flights of stairs to get to the room we have CAYA in; I'm too stubborn for an elevator most Sundays).  Even now I don't get there every single week for the most part, because of the baby & because of Erik's work schedule, but I do try.

It fills a need.  I do not feel disconnected from God when I am not in church.  I'm not that foolish.  I am at home in His creation.  But church is as much about companionship as anything.  There are people there, of course, who were there when I was a child.  The nursery workers got a kick out of having my girls in there, because they remembered me.  I was baptized in that church and married in it the first time, and the children I've had baptized so far were baptized there.  It is not without its faults, but it is still the only place I truly feel at home.

I moved a lot as a child, between poverty and my mother's adorable little habit of frequently not paying the rent.  I was technically homeless a little while in high school--not on the street homeless, but sleeping at friends' houses homeless.  So I don't have a childhood home to go to.

But I have St. Mark's.  Before the recent overhaul of the parish house, I knew all the nooks and crannies and corridors.  I knew where to go on the top floor so that I could sit in a windowsill and look out over Gosnell Hall several stories below and read a book from the church library.  I knew where the lesser-used chapels were.  I knew the back way to the music director's office, and the priests' offices and such.  I loved it.  Even though I don't have that anymore--only the facades were retained during renovations--the church is still mine and the people in it are still mine.  And when I am there, I am at home in a way I'm not when I'm at my mother's house.  Saint Mark's is my childhood home.

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