Religion in my house growing up went by the wayside once my parents got divorced. My dad is Catholic and my mom Protestant but not practicing. So while the marriage lasted, my dad tried to raise a couple of good Catholic girls. I even went all the way through to confirmation. I remember that happened post-divorce. Maybe it was just my mom’s lack of enthusiasm for her religion or the fact that my relationship with my dad has never been close, but the religion thing never stuck with me. I never got it. I went to class. I went to church. I stood up and sat down and took communion but it never had meaning for me. It was just something that everyone I knew did.
As I grew older I realized that there were many issues that I did not see eye to eye on with the Catholic Church. And I still feel that I could never truly be a part of the church. I know and love some deeply religious Catholics but I know in my heart that that could never be me.
So the fact that late in the afternoon today I was sitting in a deserted Episcopal church in downtown Honolulu was surprising even to me. It has been a week of sad news. It is the kind of sad news that only tangentially affects you. The kind where the guy you knew from a very long time ago, who was younger than you, apparently suddenly died over the weekend. Someone else I barely knew suffered a similar loss of a much too young husband. These things that show up on social media, things that otherwise would not enter into my own reality, have been on my mind. Thinking about children growing up without parents. Too young to remember them.
I had to drop off something off at location on the campus of a private school today. The school is Episcopalian (I had to look this up, I thought it was Catholic – apparently close, according to trusted internet sources, but not the same). I arrived early. I was still feeling tenuous. Thinking about loss. And there was the chapel. It is nice. Stone. I had only been inside once before. I walked over. The doors were open but the lights were off. There was one man in the back pew praying. I went in and sat down. Some school aged girls walked past the open windows and doors laughing and talking. Once they were gone it was silent. And I just sat there. I did not pray. I did not feel that I wanted to. I did, however, feel at peace. Alone for less than ten minutes. To just be. Quiet. Reflective. It made me think that maybe it is time to find a religion that works for me. And maybe this is because I am of an age which begins to consider life and mortality. Or maybe I just need a quiet place to be every once and again. Hard to say but I feel I need something. Something to take the edge off.