Eighty-two

I haven’t been here in a few months. I was mostly focused on a creative writing course at UCLA that was, in my view, a complete failure. I wrote a few new pieces, reworked some older ones and left the class completely unmotivated.

I drifted around for a few weeks bored out of my mind. A close friend moved away, a non-profit I founded collapsed, and I found myself struggling to connect with other friends. All first world problems of course.

Then something strange happened. I started attending Mass again. Yes, Catholic Mass. It’s strange, because I’d left the church in disgust twenty years ago and had become mostly agnostic and Taoist in my world views. But something was missing. Community maybe, or maybe I was just bored.

But I was always fascinated by the iconography and symbolism in the church. The saints, the prayers, Mary, confessionals. Mafia. The old buildings held a particular allure. I could never go back to believing a dead Jew rose from the grave and ascended into heaven, but I did enjoy the communal aspects of faith. The history, old buildings with creaky wooden floors. Children’s choirs.

I rediscovered prayer as a meditative experience. I enjoyed being on the kneeler and saying the names of the people I loved and cared about. It made me feel somehow more deeply connected to them. I call it vibing.

Not so sure about going to confession, though. You’re supposed to go at least once a year, but after reading a listing of the sins in the Roman Missal, I think it might take a year to confess everything. Plus, I’m not sure I’m sorry for much of it. Maybe I should do it just to see if the priest faints.

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