I was raised Catholic as a child. The only video footage that exists of me from childhood is my first communion. You can see my shuffling in with the other second-graders. I was the only one wearing a blazer and mini skirt amid the floofy princess dresses and veils. I also had daisies in my hair, courtesy of my sister. We sang hymns, we participated in transubstantiation, and then we opened presents.
This was the extent of my relationship with religion for a long time. I attended Catholic school up until post-secondary. I applied to a Catholic university — King’s College — but chose Ryerson instead. But my relationship with religion was distant all the same. I didn’t go to mass. I didn’t pray. I wasn’t quite sure what I believed anyway. I ignored the question until it came knocking on my door last year asking if I believed in the after-life.
Since then I’ve begun asking more questions about my own spirituality. What exactly do I believe?
And for the most part I still don’t know. It’s kind of infuriating to be nearing thirty and still not have a clear picture in my head of the divine. But then is it supposed to be clear? What I am clear on is that how I experience the divine starts from inside of me. Attending mass has never appealed to me because the connection I make to what’s out there belongs inside of me. But I’ve never explored that. I think that’s because I spent so much time asleep. Unaware of the divine. Unaware of the energy that exists in us. Unaware of everything. Having come so close to the divine now through my father’s illness I am more aware of its power and influence on me. I enjoy exploring it.
For the majority of this year I’ve done that through therapy with a set of tools to understand how my subconscious works. Now I’m embarking on a new voyage into more subtler stuff.
Each of us has a safe space. Last night I found mine. It exists inside of me and I can access it whenever I want. That’s the beauty of a safe space — it doesn’t have to be a real space and you can go into it whenever you want.
My imagination was once my best friend. I loved making up stories, songs, plays. When I came to Canada, before I spoke English, and even after I learned how, I spent a lot of time playing alone. I’ve been building scenes in my head since I could form words. As I got older I noticed it got harder to do that. Not for lack of trying — I have scraps of paper and notebooks filled with ideas. Just the other day I picked up a piece of paper from the floor and it was an idea for a short mystery story. But, all the same, it has gotten harder to pull those ideas out and turn them into reality. Somewhere along the way I feel like I got lost. I strayed off the path.
Last night I was pulled back onto it and led into a safe space. It was good. Although it’s a construct of my mind, it feels like a real haven to catch my breath in and begin dreaming all over again. And, yes, it feels divine.