Girl, Gone to Church

I write this in a ferry line, headed home. I’ve been on the road for four days now. I travel in behalf of a continued responsibility, the joyous opportunity of meeting with a committee charged with revisions to a Quaker book. As usual, the eight hours with Friends, adding commas and slashing quotation marks, moving paragraphs and polishing sentences, discerning meanings in our deep and amused worshipful way, was a delight.

But there’s more!   Lately, I seem to time-travel, in that bizarre way of elders, not knowing my new age number; am I really sixty-one? How can that be, when I feel sixteen? One powerful manifestation of my topsy-turvy aging is finding myself obsessed with a new song on the radio. I can’t remember the last time I knew a song so well, could sing along with every word. Driving south, I kept punching radio buttons searching for the voice that sings “Take me to church… I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies…”

On this trip, I saw people dear to my soul, and I fed on knowing them, being known, at whatever age this is. On a lawn, rolling with a four-year-old who bowls me over with pure love. “AL-IX!” he calls me. “I want to sleep with Al-ix,” he says in supreme innocence while his mother makes my guest bed. “You don’t want to sleep with me; I kick,” I warn him, truth being part of my religion. Still, he has melted me.

“Al-ix, what is that noise?” he says when I play the Hozier song on my tablet in the background, while we play with chess pieces on the bed. The noise begins “my lover has humor…” and rises to “worship in the bedroom.” Further on, it sweeps into paganism, “keep the Goddess on my side.” I’m every age from four to forever, sunk in song, clinking smooth stone queens and kings against humble pawns, knights, bishops. We are all priests.

I spent two nights in the sweet home of a cohort; we grandmas sat up late, telling life stories we would never trade for a return to younger bodies or the chance to do anything differently. Oh, but, what would we widows give for another day, another night, with our soulmates? Luckily, no devil comes along to tempt us with that deal.

And, a divine blessing: I had dinner and a moonlight walk with my dear teenage buddy. I confessed my confusions; despite this latest birthday, my hormones rage. “I’m so horny,” I say. She gets that. I explain the Hozier obsession. OMG, she loves that song! Girl minds agree – “this song has everything!“ The video, on the other hand, is something altogether different. Scary, important, dramatic; not our vision. She plays the song on her phone while I drive; a connection fails, four lines in. “Damn, we’ll have to start over again. Well, the beginning is the best part!”

Souls in sync; that’s the church in my life. All priests. Amen, amen, amen.

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