Saturday, October 8, 2011

Religion: Holy Now

Peter Mayer: Holy Now


Sundown this evening marked the end of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement; twenty years ago, or even five, the day would have had me in temple, naming my sins alongside the community in a language I can speak but cannot understand, hoping that G-d would find my repentance sincere enough to inscribe me in the book of life for yet another year.

But the older I get, the more my belief system drifts away from the conservative Judaism of my birth, and towards that of the Unitarian Universalists - a humanistic practice with no common creed among its followers save that of the ongoing search, the sacredness of community itself, and the urgency of social justice. And where most religions tell us where and how to pray, the UU sense of ritual is fluid enough to allow us to celebrate in whatever way best befits our mood, our needs, and our sense of the universe and our place in it.

And so, today, I found myself home, preparing a feature for Cover Lay Down about the ways in which I have come to use blogging itself as a mechanism for writing myself into the world, by year and by day.

And so, perhaps, it is fitting to find myself finishing up here, posting the song which most clearly speaks to that growing sense of the sublime in the mundane.

Because Minnesota singer-songwriter Peter Mayer's Holy Now serves as a sort of personalized UU hymn, one which reflects my own drift from Judaism even as it describes the move many lapsed Catholics have made from their own churches to the shared table where we worship through song and story each Sunday. In lyric and tone, it reminds us that returning reverence to the totality of creation need not imply a creator, but it sure does demand mindfulness in everything.

On my best days, I aspire to his vision.

May every day of your life bring atonement and prayer, joy and solace, no matter what you believe. For there is none of us so lost that we cannot find ourself again. Happy Yom Kippur, everyone.

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