Thursday Thirteen 51: The Nature of My Religion

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This week I read this in an article about Bruce Springsteen's music as a means of making sense of the sometimes tangled, often disparate threads of our lives. This is at its foundation, a religious undertaking, a ministry of healing: the very word "religion" after all is from the Latin relgare, which means "to bind together again." It refers to that system of overriding metaphorial and mythological schemes, which binds things together for people--which provides them with a sense of meaning and transcendence.

Rock and roll does that for many of us, Jeffrey B. Symynkyicz writes in "The Healing Ministry of Rock and Roll" in the Autumn 2008 Harvard Divinity Bulletin. Symynkyicz is a Unitarian Universalist minister and author of The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen. If the book is like the article, it is a worthwhile read.

It left me pondering more about the things that make up my religion than it did about Bruce, though. That would figure with me. Here are some of those things that bind things together for me:

1. My daughter and her wide-eyed, sweet, and honest fascination with life;
2. My family and their older, wiser, always humorous fascination with life;
3. My friends and their not as old, nevertheless wise, and always humorous fascination with life;
4. Our guinea pig, whose basic daily needs remind me that life begins and ends with basic daily needs;
5. The students in my classes who struggle for their basic daily needs and so struggle with life;
6. The people I work with whose hearts as well as their talents go out to these kids;
7. The bloggers who visit Writing in Faith, who take the time to comment, and who offer me wisdom and kindness;
8. The bloggers whom I visit for their warmth and wisdom;
9. My daughter's choir, in which she trains her voice to sing with beauty and wonder of the majesty and mystery of our place in the cosmos and the loving nature of our God;
10. St. John's Parish on the Green, where I can meditate with my Buddhist friends on Monday and receive Communion on Sunday and there is no contradiction;
11. The road outside my door, along which I walk every day to take in the beauty of the day, which I see as life itself;
12. The quiet at the end of the day;
13. The sleep that brings the dreams and the sure knowledge that all things are made new over and over again, every moment of the day, and all we can do is open our eyes and love.

Thursday Thirteen

Comments

  1. Nice work, Sandy - and a great choice of image, too.

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  2. That's quite beautiful.

    SJR
    The Pink Flamingo

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  3. And if we could all do this - open our eyes and love - all our basic needs, right across the world, would be met.
    I keep hoping.
    Great post Sandy.

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  4. What a beautiful TT. You've reminded me of the many things in life that I'm thankful for. Thanks Sandy!

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  5. A marvellous analysis there. I've always thought there was a difference between religion and spirituality. One is a social codification, the other an inner knowing.

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  6. You always have the nicest TT's. More like poetry than a list

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  7. Very good list and any post that starts with Bruce Springsteen is ok with me! :-)

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  8. Anonymous6:47 PM

    Such a meaningful post and list! Family and friends are a always a treasure, and there's also joy in embracing things that touch the heart and spirit without feeling they are off-limits because they are from another "ism" Thanks for this.

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  9. Beautiful list...very much like a gratitude list. I also found the Bruce Springsteen section really fascinating. I think art and writing that endures does so because it touches our inner life and spirit. Even if we have a variety of faiths or religious outlooks or practices.

    I like how your guinea pig has a "in the moment" one-day-at-a-time inspiration for you.

    A lovely post.

    I hope you might find some inspiration or sense of inner beauty if you get a chance to look at the architecture photos I posted:

    my TT list:

    http://gnosticminx.blogspot.com/2008/09/13-things-about-fosterpartners.html

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  10. What a wonderful 13! So full of beautiful moments. The Guinea Pig threw me a loop and makes me smile.

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  11. just remember the answer to this very simple riddle:

    If God and Bruce Springsteen get in a fight, who wins?


    It's a trick question! Bruce Springsteen is God! At least it seemed that way to me when I was 13 or 14, and for quite a few years afterward (like, until last week).

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  12. Very inspiring list. Well said.

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  13. nice picture and thought you are so insightful and varied

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  14. Anonymous8:05 PM

    Great list! I am always so touched by your beautiful heart - It really shines in this post. Thanks for sharing it! :)

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  15. Beautifully written...nice to think of a world where we help one another meet such basic needs....

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  16. what a great entry you have...have a nice day! TC

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  17. beautiful,sandy! Thank you!

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  18. I like the quiet at the end of the day too!

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  19. hi sandy, im amazed with you having buddhist friends. it's really good to know that we are now becoming more diverse and open when it comes to inter-faith relations. this will definitely make us unite in the future.

    thanks for sharing this list.

    i didn't know you're a teacher.

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  20. I have to agree with Rich.

    It is wonderful to see how different faiths can intermingle.

    The guinea pig makes us realize that we all have basic needs and responsibilities.

    well done Lil!

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  21. Poignant and lovely. You know how I love finding meaning in everything and counting blessings. Thanks for sharing yourself and your life ... evoking thoughts of my own to reflect upon ...
    Hugs and blessings,

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  22. i just added an update on my mother... and what a perfect way of thnking I woudl agree a persons blog is a reflection of them... I like that ... thank you.

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  24. I see absolutely no contradiction whatsoever in #10. None.

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  25. Great TT! You inspire me. Thanks.

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  26. What a great list...it sounds like you have a wonderful life:) Happy TT.

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  27. ...and the never ending awe that this life is...

    So well expressed, Sandy.

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  28. Anonymous11:27 PM

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing and happy TT ;)

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  29. Anonymous12:09 AM

    What a beautiful post.

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  30. We are from the same family-brothers and sisters regardless of skin culture, religion or location. Thanks for reminder.

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  31. Anonymous12:23 AM

    I feel the same way on many levels. I am catholic and have many different friends with different views and religions and still we connect on a very spiritual level. We are all one and once you realize that life becomes a bit more exciting.
    God Bless, Maribeth

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  32. I very much agree with n° 10 but I am not so sure that I bring you some wisdom here, lol !

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  33. Your #10 is especially beautiful and so very rare. I wish religion could really bind us together instead of often tearing us apart and causing wars.

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  34. Great food for thought! Nice list.

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  35. A lovely list. And St. John's Parish sounds like my kind of church.
    P.S. Do you also have Taize style worship anywhere near?

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  36. Significant and very poetic words, Sandy. I appreciate and agree a lot with your 10th point: it's absolutely true.
    Very nice post.

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  37. Anonymous1:43 AM

    Beautiful. These are some of the things that gel for me, as well. :)

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  38. Interesting thinking!

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  39. What a very beautiful list of things to ponder.

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  40. Nice wording, I like the line all things are made new over and over again....

    well done Sandy!

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  41. Sandy, this is wonderful!

    I especially love how you brought together Buddhism and Christianity in a single place. I, too, am enmeshed in both and believe they can co-exist (though some evangelicals might disagree with me and would say there is only one path to heaven...)

    Peace - D

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  42. The meditating with Bhuddist friends in a Church was really interesting. There is a church near here who has refused to allow a yoga teacher to teach in its hall as it contradicts Christian teachings. I think I will show them to your blog. Over from David's congratulations on POTD, why not check out www.findhorn.org a site you might like. MH

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  43. Anonymous9:47 AM

    My religion is under a big sky! The beach is my favorite place of worship.

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  44. Bonjour !

    Jolie photo de manège...

    Beaucoup de travail fait !

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  45. Sandy: A wonderfully written view of life in your daily walk. I enjoyed the list.

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  46. Those are wonderful. You've got me thinking about the things that have meaning in my life, too. Thanks!

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  47. Great post. Wonderful and thoughtful. We should all bear these in mind.

    Happy TT!

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  48. Hi Sandy, I like your list. You have much going for you!
    We don't have the 'Buddhist friends on Monday' to visit with at our church. Otherwise I can almost say ditto for my life. My classroom students are now those in my Sunday school room.
    Thanks for peeking at my pigs for WW!
    We are sorta' out of pocket for a bit due to Hurricane Ike.
    ..
    I do have my Ike Skywatch Friday picture up now. I have to make good use of my borrowed (in evacuation) computer time.
    ..

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  49. Great bind things.
    Beautiful text.
    Thank for share so important mind.
    Luiz Ramos

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  50. Anonymous12:47 PM

    Sandy, that is just beautiful. As usual you have me thinking and pondering deeper than I usually do. Well done.

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  51. That was so awesome Sandy. Great TT.

    My TT this is week is about the 13 Myths of Sarah Palin

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  52. Impressive post Sandy too much for a simple reaction, just a great post!

    JoAnn's D Eyes
    www.joannwalraven.blogspot.com

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  53. I popped over from Authorblog to read your 'post of the day' and it was worth the trip! Nice post. :)

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  54. Anonymous3:33 PM

    Interesting for me that almost all of these things are part of what makes my (entirely non-religious) life full of meaning and joy. Though I don't have a guinea pig... or indeed a daughter!

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  55. Anonymous5:00 PM

    This is a wonderful post. We'd all be well served by taking some time to think about what ties it all together for each of us. IF's a great exercise.

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  56. Those are beautiful, Sandy. Thanks

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  57. I came over from San's blog. Wow, if this is religion, sin (I meant sign!) me up. Wonderful.

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  58. Anonymous12:47 PM

    Very nice 13!

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  59. Lovely, Sandy. I've been meaning to get over here to read this post ever since I saw the title at David's POTD. I was so intrigued to read what you had to say about "the nature of your religion," and I'm not disappointed at all. Amen.

    Most of these 13 resonate with me, in particular the last. Isn't sleep a mysterious and rich blessing?

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  60. Sandy, it seems that it was your turn to give us wisdom this thursday!
    Basic needs are so basic that we too often forget our chance that these needs are fulfiled. Thanks to help us remind. I should take your lessons as one of your students.

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  61. Anonymous5:58 PM

    As usual, a great post!

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  62. Your list makes more sense than most of today's organized religions. And it's quite understandable! Congrats on your Post of the Day award! Beautiful.

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  63. This list was pretty inspiring. I didn't realize that you were a teacher.

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