Monday, November 14, 2022

Inventing the Wheel

Well, la! One head on the little YouTube screen
says we need a new religion, and another says
it's stupid to reinvent the wheel. And I would think
the second was right (because I like cathedrals),

but then I think: those of us unchurched 
are creating a new religion willy nilly, 
and the only question is do we do it right
or do we do it like chuckleheads -- worship at the temples
of commerce, make offerings to the algorithms
of liking, train our attention
to ever greater feats of distraction. That
is our present devotion. We're inventing it anyway,
a lonely lopsided Flintstone 
pentagon of a wheel. Stop.

Here is what we do in our church: 
we never gather and we never sing
we blame but never praise
we cultivate indulgence; we wallow in dread;
we pick the scabs of anxiety.
The stupidest Congregation of the Bigot
in Podunkville does better than that.

Any meditation, any contemplation, any prayer
is better than this. Any tradition, old or made up.
And the thing is, I have always had it backwards
You don't find out the truth first and then 
go looking for the church that matches. That's
a project bound to fail. 

The people of the church
must gather first, and build and find together.
What we know is: this does not work. That's
enough to start with. The rest comes later.


Anonymous said...

I've read this quite a few times over the past week. I love it and agree. Thank you for sharing.

Dale said...

Thanks so much! Figuring out exactly what to do in response -- alas! -- is still to do.