Sunday after Sunday, pine trees burning in the click, click, click of incense swooshing from pew to pew; priests smiling absently as they take the hands of adults all around us. Or the priest that did not smile absently but came over for dinner and loved us up with his gorgeous deep voice, his laughter rolling like far away thunder. To find out years later the same man jumped to his death from a high rise apartment just released from prison. Shame squelched on concrete.
‘I’m not worthy to receive you but only say the words and I shall be healed.” Those same words over and over in our heads. Sunday after Sunday. From pulpit to school prayers. Many of us children searching for signs, words, actions of worthiness. We looked, listened, reached for words to heal us. Adults, youth, other children in our homes also searching for their worthy while glaring at us from bewildered or angry or impatient or rageful or ‘get the fuck out of my way’ eyes; or tossing us unconscious configuration of brows burrowing into our tiny unworthy beings; or offering unintentional curses for dropped spoons, plates slipping off tables, half grapefruits stuck to floors; or exhaling exasperated breaths for taking too long to chew, swallow, finish mash potatoe and roast chicken, or screaming silence on drives to school, or the routines that kept our tired exasperated mamas together and kept us militantly worthy, straight and narrow worthy for short periods of time.
Until perhaps we caught on in our teens and instead of going to church we went to McDonalds with our best friends and ate french fries and caramel sundays, felt some kinda worthy in shared laughter of our fucked up families.
And then in our later teen years we catching on for real and we riding on backs of horses through forests and fields; laughing and singing our worthiness with the pines, oaks, maples; with the white tail deers leaping through clearings, with robins and cardinals and blue jays soaring.
And later on, later on we catching up with compassion for self, for other as we catch on to our fucked up institutions, systems, histories, legacies and we not searching for worthy any more in churches, or fast food joints or from our families; we now standing together searching for worthy in justice, peace, freedom for all .