Poem: Infinite Soul

It was a hot summer day in a small room in my even smaller town when I first understood that I did not belong to myself, that my body was not my own, and that I was inherently limited. Fifteen of us middle schoolers and our group leader sat in a circle, fidgeting in white fold-up chairs. The air hung heavy with premature body heat and Axe spray so strong a cloud loomed over our heads.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20. “My body is a temple,” says the Lord. And my youth pastor.

Our group leader plowed through an impassioned speech, beating this idea into the core of my being. And so, I believed.

With each action on this earth and impurity I committed, a stone was removed from my house of the Lord, leaving me more and more unwhole and unholy. And soon enough, everything I did and everyone I spoke to and every placed I went made little bits of me fall like a trail leading to an archeological destination.

Explorers came to my desolate building, seeking evidence that I once existed. They brushed away at the dirt and grime, rejoicing at the miniscule pieces still left to discover.

After twenty-two years on earth, I was hallow. I was finite—a shell and a limited soul. I took too many stones given to too many people and placed in too many homes. Those stones represented a name and when I had no stones left to give, I was forced to steal from the people I loved to give away to another. Love gives while supplies last, and when supplies ran out, I became used and damaged goods to my newcomers.

I sat at my computer at twenty-two, staring into the abyss of an endless Internet when a phrase once again passed before me. “My body is a temple.” There it was again, but new words formed after this dead horse, “But I am the god for whom it is devoted.” This unknown author pierced the deepest part of me, and new seeds were sown, watered over the next years by chance meetings and prophetic words. I reaped a new conscience, unblinded by previous misinformation.

Soon, I learned that my body belongs to me and I adorn her however I please. My temple isn’t set in stone. My existence isn’t limited by four walls and a carcass only meant to dissipate and die.

Love does not pick at the parts of who I am. Love becomes.

I become. I am infinite.

Every day with every interaction, I expand like the grass and the trees covering a fertile Earth. I discover new clay and form new stones and create new buildings. Little by little, I grow. I create love and give it as desired. I am reincarnated and multiplied. I transform and evolve.

My body isn’t a temple. It’s a city.

Eating Shit (Some real, raw, and possibly offensive honesty by yours truly)

As this horrible, no good, very bad  year finally comes to an end, I thought I’d make my position clear: I no longer consider myself a Christian.

So why did I stop believing?

It was for selfish reasons mostly–things I wouldn’t or couldn’t give to god, guilt I refuse to feel, dreams I refuse to give up, and an earthly home I desperately long for. There are many things I’m supposed to want as a “Christian Girl” that I don’t and can’t want. And then there are the things I want that I’m not supposed to want.

I choose my dreams, my hopes, my home, my sex and sexuality, and my humanity over a god who stayed silent–a god whose only mouth-piece seemed to me like the words of love painted with the blood of hate.

Shrugging off the veil of my religion was a relief bound in a bittersweet sigh.  It was not an easy decision, and there are moments I mourn all I once held true. But in the first moments of my disbelief, the first thing I noticed was the silence of my guilt. I am free. And for once, being lost isn’t a negative but a chance for adventure and discovery.

At the end of the day, however, I’m just tired of all the hate that comes from religious and nonreligious alike. I’m tired of the way we wake up in the morning and eat our own shit because we think we have to. I’m tired of the ways beliefs and politics pull us apart and make our Shit a livelihood.

The Shit we eat is full of bits of obligation and tradition, flecked with expectations and disappointments, hunks of fear and manipulation. But I promise, in the Shit we eat, you’ll never find humility or honesty or individuality. Every shit looks the same, and I see it all around us. It’s underfoot, it’s in our heads, it’s in our Bibles and textbooks, it’s in our constitutions and our handbooks. It’s in our peace, and it’s in our wars. It is both left and right. The Shit abounds, and the only escape is to stop feeding on the hate and judgement that points fingers and evades blame. It’s the Shit that renders us cowards in the face of anyone who looks different, speaks different, thinks different, believes different, worships different, and loves different.

We eat the same Shit, so we can fit in because on Earth, there is no greater curse than being different, and I am sick of it.