So, I try not to talk about it too much on social media or in this group, but religious institutions and I have – as Facebook says – a complicated relationship. I was brought up catholic but I am now an apostate (i.e. I had myself un-baptised (?) de-baptised(?) in 2009). This doesn’t mean I am not a spiritual person (I really am). It does mean that I am in disagreement with how religious institutions act and preach.
I decided to pair the lyrics of my song with this very gothic image of what could be a woman attending mass, getting ready to confess or going to a funeral service. I wrote the words on either side of her and tried to remember to make all the Ts look like crosses, although I forgot a couple of times!
Recently, I’ve made a conscious decision to chose myself, to trust my gut, to follow my path, to worship at my own altar so to speak. So this song by Hozier was appropriate for what I wanted to express about how I am feeling now, which is the first part of the prompt.
One of the aspects of Christianity which really bothers me is the lack of credible female role models; you get to choose between the Virgin and the Prostitute. I found it very hard to intergrate this part of the message in my life. That said, when I went to Mexico, I found the imagery of the Virgin everywhere (that and the Sacred Heart). You could tell that for catholics there, Mary is a very strong, loving, mother figure and that definitely appealed to me.
I myself am a mother. And that is huge. It was the most transformative experience of my life and I was lucky enough to experience it twice. There is so much power in becoming a mother; it really bugs me that Mary has to be a virgin. Like making love is bad, like a woman has to do something bad to be able to become a mother. I can’t help but see this way of putting things as a way of controlling people, especially women, to keep them obediant, modest and subdued. I am certain the pagan goddesses of yore were powerful humans that did not tone down their essence or compromise their feminity.
But I digress. I definitely don’t want to offend anyone or start a religious debate. I only want to express what I feel about this song and what it means to me. I added the last lines of the song to this page about me. I took a photo of myself in a saintly pose (a shoutout to the Church of Babe Vibes). The miror behind me looks like a halo and it says : ‘the keys have broadened my possibilities’ (one of my favorite lines from The Master and Margharita by Mikhail Bulgakov). I chose to be fully myself, to be master and king of my own destiny because I want to be an example for my children. That they be strong in their identity and kind and respectful of others and of themselves.
So this prompt led me down many meanders which I have tried to keep short here. I love talking about this subject though, so if you want to have an open and frank discussion, I’m all for it and don’t hesitate to leave any comments you have here. I know a lot of Get Messians (and even scrapbookers and creatives in general) are religious and I am careful not to insult or offend any of you. I don’t mind reading your scripture posts and I know that you are and will be just as respectful of my beliefs. The very first Instagram conversation I had with Caylee was about walking (or not) with God and it was full of respect and really listening to the other’s point of view. That is one of the great aspects of the Get Messy group : a place to be yourself and for open and frank debate.
It’s also quite ironic that I’m sharing this on the day after Mary gave birth, isn’t it?