An Ex Catholic Goes to Confession

 

This poem may still be in the midst of the editorial process. I don’t really know for sure. I like this version, and I think it’s fun to read out loud. I’ve been struggling a little bit lately because I feel that poetry is really best shared out loud more than on a page, or at least that there needs to be some greater dimension of interaction between the writer, the material, and the reader. So, I’ve been using social media such as Instagram and Snapchat to share. The trouble this time is that those platforms are designed for shorter messages than this. Hmm… always experimenting. Always learning.

In case you’d rather read the poem yourself, here’s the full text.

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. 
I haven't been to confession since
the fifth grade. 
I came here to confess that I have
left behind every scrap 
of faith I ever had
and I wish to account for it. 
I want you to know that I prayed to your god
and I told him what I was going to do
and he did not stop me.
I knelt twice a week at the feet of that poor man
and sculpted his ribs with my eyes
and untied in my mind
the shred of cloth at his hips. 
I had his blood on my lips
and he did not ask me to stay. 
Sweet child of a man, he rolled his eyes
to God and prayed himself away
so you could take his name in vain -- but
he did not ask me to stay. 
I want you to know that I don’t miss
the Sunday morning fashion show or your
admonitions or the hypnotic repetition
of unthinking prayers in our
monotone drone -- worker bees stoned 
on incense and wine, 
keeping an empty ritual just to fill the time
repeating the spell of our own binding
I believe I believe I believe
we loved our endless litany
of saints and sins all taken in 
the legato of suburban life. 
I want you to know that in the desert outside your home
where you said I’d be alone, I found
an ocean of love like you’ve never known
and I dove right the fuck in and it was good. 
And out here, none of us are who you said we were. 
We are so much more. 
I want you to know I’m going away, 
and I’m not coming back. 

I probably will do a bit of editing, and I’ll maybe change the first line since it doesn’t create quite the tone I want to start with. I don’t actually seek forgiveness, as the poet or as the speaker of this poem, so I find that line misleading and a little cliched. The reason I’ve kept it this way so far is that I don’t know exactly what I want to change it to and that I was trained with great emphasis as a child that all confessions were supposed to start that way. I’ll let it rest for now and see what comes up with a little time.

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Women are Cool and Interesting – Episode 7

In this episode, Tashima Ricks shares some of her life’s journey. Tashima is cool for more reasons than I can count. What I first loved about her was how she stepped right out of her comfort zone and on to the skating rink after nearly 30 years off skates, but as I got to hear more of her story I got a glimpse of what a deeply compassionate person Tashima really is. She told me about her career as a nurse, providing health care for inmates in the correctional system, her family, her crazy adorable dog, her volunteer work … Lets just say I’m just super thankful to have met her and to have the chance to share some of her light with you. Enjoy!

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Women are Cool and Interesting – Episode 6


I took a break from podcast work because October is the beginning of my busy season, with friends visiting all month, a huge annual Halloween party, and this year, a very special wedding of two beloved friends in November. Then life took off running, and I had to catch up, so it’s been a long time since I posted an episode — sorry about that!

The good news is that I’m back today with a new episode in which I chat with my friend Stephanie Rhodes. Stephanie is a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner like myself. One of the things I love about Stephanie is that she embraces spirituality while having a pretty low tolerance for bullshit. I think you’ll love what she has to say about her personal journey, and I hope you’ll find her as refreshingly open and honest as I do.

Here’s where you can reach Stephanie and learn more about her work:

Stephanie Rhodes

Facebook

Instagram

 

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Women are Cool and Interesting: Episode 5

In Episode 5, I get to reconnect with one of my favorite creative partners of all time, Ellie Di Julio. Ellie and I were very close in the years that we were both work-from-home writers, but eventually life moved on, she had a baby and I started playing roller derby. It’s crazy how much our lives have changed as we’ve been pursuing our own paths, yet the inspiration I found in this friendship is still there.

Ellie and I have an honest chat about friendships, relationships, balancing work and family, and where faith figures into it all. Ellie shares about finding purpose for her work through her spiritual journey and how that journey continues to shape her. We explore that weird territory of talking faith with a friend who doesn’t share your beliefs, and so much more.

You can find Ellie’s writing and learn how to connect with her at ElliDi.com.

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write about the question until it reveals your answer

 

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Write about My Little Pony and Smurfette. Write about bath products stores. Write about having to walk down the diaper aisle to get tampons. Write about the 16-year-old stock boy who asks if you need help finding anything. What the fuck are you gonna help me find?

Write about feeling self-righteous in the checkout line. Write about “I’m not judging, but…” Write about the shit people talk about, how they try to sound like sitcoms, how everyone acts like a celebrity on Facebook.

Write about the things you can’t say out loud. Write about the things that don’t make sense. Find the cracks in your understanding and repair them. Write about that.

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