Little Altars Everywhere
Think of the last church service you went to and tell me honestly how you felt, before, during and after that service. Did you really feel like you had found the spirit or the glory in your soul? Did you find anything near what you wanted to find in that moment? How did you find the church you go to? Location? Family tradition? Lack of ambition? I had a falling out with my mother and father over their church and their blind acceptance of the man who claimed to be so holy and turned out to be nothing more than a snake. Even after they dragged that man away in handcuffs, there were my parents, vowing to fight the good fight and throwing good money after bad. I would have been willing to live and let live, but they could not give me that same consideration. I broke from formal religion soon afterward.
What I have found, though, out here on my motorcycle, is that there are little altars everywhere, little places to find my soul and my solace, little places to stop and give my thanks or send up my prayers. I can stop alongside the road and look at the beautiful sunset and be at total peace. I can stop and sit on a big flat rock and vent when I am upset and sad. I don’t have to give my money to a man who claims to be a man of the cloth and only turns out to be nothing more than a man of the cash. I don’t have to pretend to be anything or anyone that I am not- like my mother who lives in track suits six days of the week and then pulls out a dress suit and her poofy hair every Sunday morning. If I am in jeans or I am in leather or I am in a little cotton dress when the feeling moves me, that is what I am wearing.
There are a few places in my area, nice rides in every direction, for places that I feel closest to God and nature. I don’t think that the roar of my motorcycle is an affront to the harmony of nature in these places; I don’t think that my version of God even notices the sound.
When I was growing up, my grandma would go to church every Sunday- a different church most of the time based on who was taking her. My mother was mortified, but not so much that she would come and get her own mother every week so that she went to just that one church all of the time. My grandma said it didn’t matter where you prayed, as long as you did it. She would come home and tell me about the church service that she attended- the good, the bad and the funny. I think of her a lot when I am out riding, the wind in my hair and the feeling of utter peace in my chest.