Word and Image

Posts tagged “Religion

Faith

I must have thousands of images of Patch. Of course! Find one. That’s not so easy. I cannot show you how he liked his “treats.” But, I can show you his favorite basket. He liked his comforts – nestling on the down quilt on our bed. Colleen adopted him before we met again. And though he was her cat, he was our cat. We remember him with smiling, in all the little unspoken wonky habits he kept.

The quintessential image? Patch had a look. He had a partially lidded look. He never seemed to look me straight in the eye. There are people I know whom I look in their eyes and there is deeper thought behind their eyes than what they reveal to the world. Patch had that look. You will see what I mean when tomorrow’s post is published; my other cats engage my look so differently.

Symbolism. Lisa once commented that religion and church were for the symbolism of birth, death, and marriage. Without faith, one gives up symbolism that drives much of the ceremonies of life. (We {Lisa} were married by a judge on a house boat.) On the day Patch died, I saw symbolism in the snow geese at hand. It was a stark cold rainy day. The rain was angel tears? Today the sun finally rose, a promising cold crisp winter morning. It is the third day. I want to believe in a higher spirit. It lifts my heart to know someone I loved is at peace. And, I’m hugging Colleen extra tight today.

The raw emotion I am feeling is not usually on display. I prefer a more irreverent bit of wonky humor on the world around me. The rest is private and only comes out rarely. The last time, was when I connected and wooed Colleen after five decades of separation. Indeed, I am holding tight to her, and more so with appreciation that she is my “one and only.”


If you are not with me…

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We have cousins who gently say grace with each meal where we gather together. It is a gentle sentiment of thanks and blessing. There is a fine line these days. For, if you are not with me, then you must be against me. Too often now, I look upon religion as a sign of oppression. There are many faiths. But I no longer feel safe if I am not on your team. Is it about team? Or, are we about mankind?


Two right hands

If you stop often enough you might be surprised. Hays, Kansas. We braked for antiques. It was far enough along in miles that we needed a break. You try to pick something good. It wasn’t particularly (good). In this little shop off the interstate a Scottish woman gave us a whole story of this piece she had acquired and shipped from Scotland. Religious symbolism was all over the piece. She described religious plants, symbols signifying the books of the bible, the carvings, and even Celtic influence. Jesus had two right hands? There was a representation of the Pieta. She was looking for a museum to purchase her treasure. I would agree. It should find an appropriate home. I did not ask the price.

 


Not PC today

This is emotional for me. My brother and mom have both passed away from lung cancer. Let’s knock on wood now please. Silva’s dad had been diagnosed with lung cancer shortly after I knew her. She smoked and quit and started again and ….? Her brothers smoked/smoke. No one stopped after dad was diagnosed. Farid shook his head. He doesn’t smoke. But smoking was a deal breaker when he met Silva. So she quit…We visited a prominent religious statue high on a hill in Beirut. There was a long picturesque funicular ride to the top. Silva was there to pray for her father. Lung cancer is fatal so we know how this ends. Hope. It’s in us all. We never give it up. The alternative is too painful to contemplate. It’s surprising to me. Most physicians do not experience death too often. Patients die. But it is not something that dominates a medical practice. Emergency physicians, of course, see plenty. And in a sad way I do too. Head injury, stroke, aneurysm, and brain tumors all take a toll. It’s very difficult to talk about death and dying. No one dies. We save everyone. And the public thinks we perform miracles every day. See? It’s on the news. But in real life reality, we pray. We hope. And we accept that life is fragile.


Side By Side

When I visited Beirut the civil war was done and the center of the city rebuilt. It was clean and shiny new. It was pedestrian friendly. I walked about and took in the sights. Mosque and Church could be seen side by side. Outwardly there is no war. Sunny days prevail. Beneath the surface lingers all the old animosities. The government is dysfunctional. Religion, politics, and ethnicity all lurk as intractable barriers. You can’t see it in the pictures. Some days I wish there really was a reset button.


Unbelievable

Science and religion clash. Evolution does not exist if God created the earth in seven days. I read it in the Bible. Or, Darwin is correct? I keep my sins to a minimum in case there is a heaven. And I sin because there might not be heaven. We can agree to disagree. Or not. It’s why wars are fought. Jonathan Swift could never have written Gulliver’s Travels otherwise. It was a great childhood movie. Too bad it sailed right over my head until high school straightened the innocence right out of me. I like Greek mythology too…

Phrenology, palmistry, sand sculpture, do you understand the dilemma? I shoot images. I don’t stick to any topic in particular. I once told Susan that I shoot flag pictures. And she does too. I shoot the red, white, and blue. But wherever I am I will shoot the flag of any country or state too. There’s no mission. I’m not paid. It’s a lifelong hobby. I’m unstructured because there is no agenda. So my image collection is not just fish, or cats, or food, or…


Icons

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The biggest difference for me to notice between Beirut and Jeddah was the Christian influence and tolerance in Lebanon. So religious icons were seen quite commonly as opposed to Jeddah where there is no sign of any other religion other than Muslim. Any discussion otherwise is not tolerated in Saudi Arabia. They may acknowledge that you are Christian but there can be no discussion. For me, I just keep it quiet and non-controversial, just to be safe._DSC1032 copy