Invitation to Be/live
I have been invited to church, to lodge, to pray in the woods.
To make art, to build alters for the dead, to study the Bible.
She, and then she, reads my cards and counts my stars,
she prays on her knees,
while I look up at the moon.
I have been invited
and often I go,
somehow I arrive
in these spaces
nothing feels more real or beautiful
Have you ever cried during someone else’s song of praise?
Have you ever trembled during the baptism of a stranger?
Outside of these spaces I think: missionaries, sheep, rape and war.
Capitalist communion. Cultural appropriation. Deflection and pacification.
Have you ever wondered what you’re taking in exchange for offering your God?
Have you ever wondered what you’re offering in exchange for worshiping their gods?
Offering; spirituality for profit.
Even yoga makes me uncomfortable.
But to watch someone interact with their faith,
Not attend church, but to show up
This is what I have always been searching for
Waiting as a girl on church steps for
. my friends and their families to come out
. to believe in something so completely that I forget that everything fails
And then, she curled up in this communal space, front row, her legs folded beneath her,
And she took notes.
I don’t know what she wrote
But I read colors spiraling inside like the northern lights,
the kind of intensely gentle touch that heals.
She offers it to herself.
I sway to the notes that are not for me
as the congregation sings, moves
Eyes closed, lungs filled with praise.
. Breathing fresh
air is something I cannot see.
But faith, she holds up
She reads it to me like the embrace of
a bedtime story
. with a surprise ending.
Or a bright light
shining through a man-made tree,
reimagined. Multiplied by three.