Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Covenant   Leave a comment

Not everything that breaks the skin
Is an affront to my senses
Some things are just more worth waiting for
While others are better left alone

From the jump
I lost my footing
And found myself spinning
Out of control and going under
There is always a rhythm
That escapes my knowing
And I flail as I fail

But I get up
And I try, try again

You’re like my “watched pot”
That I can’t seem to ever catch boiling
I feel like no matter how I trick time
It’s me that gets covered in
Lost anthems of relationships
And wasted moments of inner conflicts

Night terrors and static and the reincarnation of everything
I thought I laid to rest
Here again
Pressing me up hard against the glass
To be examined by the doctors of my failures
And the professors of my testaments
Battle weary Argonauts
And the wreckage left of sunken ships

Everything repeats
Only now I’m tired
And I’m less inclined to seek the Holy Grail
Now seeking out a new covenant

This is my gospel
According to me

Jen

Time   Leave a comment

 

It appears

That I only know

The ways

Of

Shame or blame

And that for me to be

Greater than the sum

Of my misgivings

I need to learn something

New

Of how life can move forward

I am not sure

There is a way for me

Other than this

I feel trapped

And lost

And alone

I am trying

But I am failing

I am hoping

But I gave up on praying

And now all that I know

For sure

Is that time is both

My greatest enemy

And the only friend

That has the trusted ability

Of being there

In the end

jc

Unravel (my Aquarian Mantra)   Leave a comment

Do not expect me to explain myself to you

To the point where you comprehend

My inner most revelations

You will not understand

You can only perhaps respect

The position I am currently taking

Because I have come to you from a place

Of integrity and personal conviction

My mind changes constantly

Much like my spirit ebbs and flows

As it processes the new and ever changing

Energies and environments it encounters

As it channels its way through the various highways

Forging forward towards each epicenter that I find

Challenging and rewarding

Until I have a firm and satisfactory understanding

Of just how and why I have been called into

The corners of the universe

Which choose to seek me out and unravel another mystery

Pushing me further into greater

And ever more brilliant domains

I am not here to press faith into the heart of your consciousness

I ride the wave of thought and dream

And I know only the limits of my own

Imposing trepidation

Of which there is none

Jen Czahur

1st Mother’s Day without Mom   Leave a comment

 

It’s Mother’s Day.  I know that I should be missing my mom, that I shouldn’t be able to stay composed what with this being the first time I have to spend this holiday without her, but I promise you that I am truly OK.  My mother was a pure delight of a human being.  She was laughter and dignity and charm and compassion.  She could take care of you no matter what condition you were in and always leave you feeling as though you were the most important person in the world and at no time did she ever make you feel as though you were putting her out.  Her love and care were effortless, she was able to comfort you without putting someone else down, she was able to build you up without setting someone else to take the fall.  She could spot a liar from a mile away, but she wouldn’t always call you on it because she knew sometimes it was just what you needed.  She was nobodies fool, but from time to time, she would let you get away with murder.

My mother had a strong faith, she talked about God and Jesus all of the time.  So often that it was easy to forget everything you had ever heard about them from anywhere else and find yourself starting to have a relationship with them through her.  But she didn’t use this to her advantage like most people would have.  She wasn’t interested in controlling anybody or gaining an upper hand.  She just wanted everyone to be able to have the same peace, the same satisfaction that she was afforded by sheer virtue of her closeness and trust in what she believed.  Her faith was so simple and pure that when we discussed it later on in life and came to points where we disagreed about religion and even the existence of god, she was very comfortable letting me have my own mind provided I allowed her to have hers.  She didn’t need to dominate my lack of faith.  She just didn’t want me attacking her need for it.  And I respected my mother’s beautiful relationship with her religion so much and was so grateful for all of the comfort and strength her faith and concepts of god had provided her over the decades that I never wanted to debase those ideals now at the end of her life when she was so frail and ill and they could stand to serve her most.  It was a deal I was more than happy to strike.  I found no greater joy than in merely accepting my mother for whom and what she was and in being accepted for the same by her.

My mother and I always had a close, odd relationship.  It evolved like everything does.  We were very dependant on one another the last handful of years even when I lived in Georgia.  I would make calls to her several times a week crying about how sad I was in what I could only classify as the “completely backwards, backwoods south”.  She always urged me to come home, which might sound like a typical mother but it wasn’t my mother, not typically.  And when she needed money or advice, she would call me, her youngest.  And when she was ill, she called me.  And I came home to care for her because my heart was always with her and in her illness I was dying and being reborn.

But the last two years of our time together were two of the best years of my life.  Yes, my mother was dying.  And yes, I was basically jobless, near homeless, suffering from a manic episode that would not pass, in and out of mental health treatment, dealing with many other family crisis-type issues and flat out broke, but I was there for my mom when she was sick, when she was scared, when no one else could figure out how to be.  I was the one she called and I was able, while going through all else, to be there for her.  We would stay up all night talking and laughing.  We got to discuss things that I’ve always wanted to, we got to gossip, we go to philosophize, we got to hold each other while we cried, I got to spoil her rotten on whatever food she wanted to eat and all the ice cream and back rubs she could ever want.  It was like heaven for me because for a while there my mom got to finally be the center of the universe and in my mind that was what she always deserved.  It took old age, 4th stage cancer and an overall tiredness to allow her to let me give it to her, but finally I was able to show her just how special she was to me.

I wasn’t perfect at it.  I would go a few weeks here and there where my own mental illness symptoms would flair up and she would have to take a back seat to my raging.  But in a way, that was a certain kind of blessing.  I needed some of my mom that I hadn’t been able to get up till that point.  And having me on my best behavior 85% of the time gave my mom a clear comparison to see just how hard being bi-polar really is and she could finally sympathize with my struggles.  It broke down walls for us so that I could explain what my life was like and so she could ask questions and get more involved.  My mother passed on knowing all about therapy, medication, symptoms and other treatments.  And that’s really important to me because now when things get hard on me it helps me to know that my mom understood and would want me to seek help and take care of my problems and not just hide or deny or pray it away.  She was proud of me for all that I dealt with and she loved me for exactly who I am.

Last summer, my mother and I were up in the middle of the night talking.  She was sick, coughing a lot and having a hard time catching her breath.  She was a few weeks away from going into the hospital for the last time.  She was telling me, between struggling gasps, about how when she was pregnant with me a lot of people thought she was too old to have another child and how maybe, just to keep the peace, she should have an abortion.  I already knew all about that, but I figured she needed to say it for some reason so I just listened.  She stopped talking for a few minutes and her expression changed.  I can’t really describe the look on her face.  It just warmed my heart in a way nothing else ever has.  She looked at me for what felt like forever, only now I know it wasn’t forever and a part of me wishes that it could’ve been.  She smiled at me and then said, “Can you just imagine if I did what they said where I would be now?”

You hear something your whole life and it goes from being too complex to comprehend, to too painful that first time you get it, to too numbing because you’ve just had to find a way to make it not matter anymore.  I’ve known my whole life that I was the kind of pregnancy that made my really Catholic mother contemplate an abortion and on many levels in many ways I have had to wrestle with that knowledge.

But with that one shared moment, all the pain washed away and I was reborn.  I still have a lot of struggle in me.  But my mother adores me and trusts me and knows that all the pain and sacrifice was more than worth it because she raised the kind of daughter who would always be there for her mother.  And that is because she was always there for me.

So today is Mother’s Day.  And I assure you I do not miss my mother today.  Not because I do not love her dearly, but because she is more apart of me today then she was the first 37 years of my life.  She is in my heart, on my mind and all around me.  And in her love, I have all the faith in the world.

Jen Czahur

Splinter   Leave a comment

 

Red crosses lay at the foot of my bed

Made of splintered wood and stained

By the blood of battle tested,

War weary bodies thrown

On pyres, neglected by the sought after

Mighty and glistening celestial

Gods that demand in their own absence

What preachers and holy mother church

Postulate and ascertain by design of

Their own reward and etched out

In palaces and rectory halls

With sure hands that find their way

Into the very minds that doubt whether or not

There is reason to believe

Reason to question

Cancel out the faith that brings in the

Guardian light and the eager deeds of what every

Mother and father has put upon each young soul

I am not a believer

In heaven and hell

I have cast out my own demons and denounced my

Own bitter need for the sky lord

Still voices echo in my war torn head

And I find no sleep

Only red crosses at the foot of my bed

Made of splintered wood

Stained with my blood

My body warming by the flames of the nearby

Pyre.

Jen Czahur

Destiny   Leave a comment

I don’t think it makes any sense to half ass having a religion.  I think if you’re going to have faith you should go all out.  And yes, I mean that to the fullest extent.  If you’re going to have the nerve to tell anyone that there is a hell then you should figure out just what the fuck you think makes you worthy of going there and you should stick by that conviction.

I was raised to be Catholic.  I think it’s horrible to raise a child a religion.  I think everyone should be allowed to figure this out for themselves.  But if you believe in your religion, I can see why you wouldn’t give your kid any room to think.  Thoughts allow for too much reason and reason destroys faith.  And what’s really messed up is that sounds like I’m being disrespectful, but I couldn’t be any more straight with you right there if I tried.

Anyway, I was raised Catholic, but as usual most of my family members pick and choose when they are really strict with their rules and when they are lax.  My mom and my Grandmom were rather devout however so I wasn’t all that upset to think that when my mom first found out I was gay she was going to flip out.  To be perfectly honest, she didn’t.  She handled it great, but she did let me know that while she loved me and would always hold her arms wide open to me, her faith was her faith and I know what her religion states about homosexuality.  She always treated me with respect and warmth and I never doubted her love which is all I could ever hope for.  But she was constantly thinking about my soul burning in hell forever.  Now, that’s some heavy shit, isn’t it?  I mean, she really believed that.  How sad and horrible for her.

I’ve never told my Grandmom.  Presently, she’s rather senile so it doesn’t make any sense to mess with her head now.  But she has never held back her hateful talk about gay people.  And yes, I mean hateful.  My father’s mother speaks very clearly with a racist, homophobic and otherwise intolerant tongue.  Growing up, she was pure love or so I thought.  But as I had the opportunity to pull away and see the world for myself, I learned just how much anger, sadness, jealousy and fear she worked with.  While my mom’s version of being Catholic led her to be sincere and concerned, my grandmother’s seemed to only lend it to her attempts to dictate and dominate everything and everyone.

Over the years, I examined the people involved.  I thought perhaps it was the difference between my mom and my Grandmom that would tell me the story I needed to hear.  Then I looked at the perceptions of faith or the experiences of childhood and upbringing.  I tore it all apart and analyzed everything I could.  I have always wanted to understand.

Once our country was attacked on 9/11 I felt overwhelmed by the fear of religious radicalism.  I went the traditional, gut reaction route first.  As a Christian at the time, I thought Muslims were crazy and we were sane and innocent.  Then, it shifted to simply, “You can find nuts in every religion. Every group has its extremes.”  I settled there for the longest time.  My views shifted all over the place while maintaining that general perspective.  As I examine the entire situation, I find that most people are stuck in these parameters.

You have a lot of people filling up the side of “I am Christian, hear me roar!” who are basically as loud, militant, crazy and unstable as any Muslim Jihadist.  You see these types all over the South and Midwest, but they aren’t isolated there.  They are everywhere times have gotten tough and reality has become avoidable.  They watch Fox News, vote Republican and would rather believe conspiracy theories than anything remotely factual.

But what are even more frightening for me are the moderates.  There are many Americans who use common sense most of the time, who are fair minded, kind, realistic and not tied to any particular dogma that makes them fundamentally unreasonable.  When you speak with them they listen, they actually pay attention to what’s really happening and care about the facts of any given situation.  But for whatever reason, they are loyal to their religion when push comes to shove.  While they will calmly and without fear of judgment stand up for themselves and others in regards to all of the ways in which they will break the rules of their identified religion, you will stumble upon a concept every so often where their devotion rears its misguided head.  And no matter how much sense you throw at them, no matter how many good points you make and no matter how little they care about their “faith” in any other situation, in this particular moment it is all that matters to them.

But if you think about it, why have a little faith?  Why not have it all or nothing?  I don’t believe in god.  I don’t believe the bible is holy.  I don’t believe in heaven or hell.  I enjoy this one life and I seek out my challenges and beauty with all that I have.  I am not afraid of death.  I am comfortable with how I feel about all of this.

I don’t understand however how someone could believe in god and want to please him and then only worry about it sometimes.  Or if you believe in him but just think he’s there but doesn’t care what you do, that’s cool too, but if you believe in judgment or hell, how can you not read your holy books and fight your wars?

I find myself mistrusting those that speak of god who do not spend all of their time trying to bring me to him.  I am annoyed at those who do, but at least I trust you.

For all the Christians running around the US talking smack about the Muslims, they are following their hearts and their lord.  How can you mock that?  How can you deny them that?  Your god has done nothing more to prove himself.  He has done nothing more to show himself almighty or dominant or real.  It’s simply your faith against theirs.  It’s your voices no one else has heard vs. those only they have heard.  I don’t think either of you are right.  But how can you be so hurtful, disrespectful, and angry at them for fighting their fight?

Last I checked people from every faith and from no faith get cancer, die in car crashes, win the lottery, get hit by lightening, fall in love, have heart attacks and breathe oxygen.  Your prayers and faith have not separated you in any meaningful way.  So instead of trying so hard and fighting one another over gods who don’t even care enough to show themselves, maybe you should spend some of your precious time and valuable resources doing the things you ask your god to do for you.  I know you like to say “All is possible with god”.  But the truth is we are the choosers of our own fate.  God didn’t make us.  We made god.  And it’s time we took back control over our destiny.

Jen Czahur

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