Monday, July 13, 2015

The Church

You are the Church.
I love you, despite that you don’t offer me solace.
I sit in your pews, participate in your rituals, and pray to your God.
I see through your achromatic mirage and tolerate your deceitful shine.
I quietly rationalize that we are all victims of time,
And that your good intentions can justify your faults.
I forced a blind eye and turned the other cheek,
Ignoring the way you treat me,
Waiting for you to speak to me.

I allowed you authority in the desert of consensual tyranny,
I was so thirsty for the oasis you promised me, that I partook.
I drank the hot, dry sand—
While still yearning to drink from the waters of truth and equality.
But when I drank the sand, you praised me.
You loved me.
So like an innocent child,
I lapped up the heat of its emptiness and bathed in your painful praise.

You told me,
Believe.
Serve.
Marry.
Conceive.
So I did.
Just like my foremothers crossing the plains in His name.
Dead women—with heirs that bear the names of men.
They are buried along the dusty trails of your empty promises.
Thatcould have been me.

Yes, motherhood is my greatest calling.
If I am coerced, it worked.
I believed it and I still do.
Yet the God you tell me to worship is void of the Mother I hold dear.
To pray to Her would be my sin.
Is She not worthy of Her children’s communion or adoration?
What does that say of motherhood?
What does this say of me?

You strip my sisters of their nuance and glorify their obedience.
You use my daughters to adorn the thrones of men.
You silence the voices of my foremothers to preserve your version of truth.
Then you ask me to give you my time? My talents? My life?
All to uphold your masculine religion and then try to put limits on my abilities?
You don’t know what I’m capable of.
How dare you try to limit my service, worship, and compassion.
You can sharpen your blade and fashion your noose to purge me of my sin,
But let’s be clear before you do,
My sin was love.

I loved you and I still do.

For as much as I want to be free of you, I know I never will.
You are a part of me—woven into the fibers of my body.
I cannot deny you have shaped me into the woman I am.
From my great, great, great, great grandmother, sealed to the Prophet,
I’m from a long line of women who believed.
You are my heritage, blood, and home.
So don’t you think for a moment that I deserve to be here any less than you,
I am not your enemy.
I’m simply everything you can’t control,
And it frightens you.

Have you forgotten who I am?
I am your ally—
The legs you stand upon.
The back that upholds you.
The voice that professes your truths.
The body that bears your posterity.
I am you and you are me,
And there’s no escaping each other.

So go ahead.
Burn another witch at the stake.
Burn as many witches as it will take,
For you to understand the problem that’s at hand.
Even when you cast me in the fires,
I am not gone.
I have risen above the ashes.
Your flames have freed me.
My crude flesh may bear the scars of obedience,
But I will no longer be ignored.

I see you for what you really are—imperfect.
You are a hypocrite and a sinner,
Yet so am I.
For as flawed as we are, I still see love.
I see charity, forgiveness, compassion.
I see service, selflessness, kindness, inspiration.
I see family, friendship, hope.
I see us.

I know you.
I cannot pretend you are evil to simply easy my pain.
My lips must confess what you are.
You are childhood memories filled with laughter.
You are the stories I read as a girl.
You are the songs of joy that sprang from my heart.
You are the teachers who showed me kindness,
And the ears that heard my prayers,
When I poured out my soul searching for comfort.
You are friendships beyond the grave.
You taught me to stand as a fortress of truth despite opposition.
My character is molded in your halls.

I cherish the religion of my mothers.
I will tell my daughter your stories.
I do not fear our convoluted past.
My daughter will know her bloodline.
Her heart once beat within me—
Beating like all the hearts of your daughters, sisters, and mothers.
Our voices combined,
Like tears falling from the sky creating a symphony of persistence.
You will eventually hear our cries.
Maybe not today.
Maybe not tomorrow.
But you will inevitably hear us,
Because you need us.

I forgive you.
I will not reject you the way you have rejected me.
I simply reject this ruse of absolutes.
I have left the innocence of the Garden,
I have tasted the fruit as did Mother Eve,
And I am disillusioned.
I acknowledge both good and evil.
Yes, I value honesty above positivity, transparency above bliss
Because I have little use for your illusions.
Can’t you see there is beauty without perfection?
There is love in our flawed existence.

I have given you my mind, body, and soul.
Is my request for reciprocation so unreasonable?
You cannot clip my wings,
When your doctrines command my evolution,
And I am here—ready to evolve,
To fly beyond mundane obedience into my promised heavenly inheritance.
I am simply seeking what you taught me.

Don’t be afraid.
You don’t have to clutch to your orthodoxy with raw, bleeding hands—
So fearful of what will happen if you let go.
Your pride is paralyzing,
So you tighten your grip searching for safety.
But you know as well as I do,
There is no safety in the unknown.
There is no safety in the future.
Only trust.
Only faith.
Only us.

Where is your faith?

Let us unify the masses
Diverse in gender, race, and classes
Infinite hearts beating as one—
Achieving our common goal
To heal, comfort and console.
We’ll celebrate our diversity while synchronized in purpose
Creating the future,
By improving the world.
As creators of compassion,
We can redesign a heaven out of this hell.

There are foes far worse than I—hate, disease, hunger, war, death.
These are our enemies, not each other.
We can defeat them together.
We can defy our restrictive boundaries—
In an effort to lift one another.
Have we forgotten our ancestors?
They suffered, bled and died.
We let it continue and I don’t know why.
Imagine what we could do.
Why wait for the next generations,
When we are capable of greatness now?

Let us fill the future with our love,
And saturate the unknown with compassion.
Put your faith in me as I have in you.
I am still here—waiting to catch you.
Please, let go and embrace me too.

Yes, you are the Church,
but so am I.