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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Last summer while in NYC, I stopped by St. Patrick's Cathedral. I had not intended to do so, but I was walking by and the church was open. And it is a beautiful church. Even more surprising to me: I stayed for the early evening Mass and then returned the following day for one of the docent-guided tours. During Mass, I felt none of my old angst and resentment toward the Catholic Church, only the peace and beauty of the Mass. I take issue with many of the Catholic Church's stances and practices - all that money - all that pomp and luxury in which the Church's high priests dwell, its anti-choice stance, its homophobia, its pedophile priests, its enslavement of the Native American population of California in an attempt to convert them - there is much to dislike. But the Cathedral was a peaceful and beautiful place so I set my resentments aside and enjoyed the place for those qualities alone.


Blogger Jack K. said...

There is something about the tranquility of cathedrals.

Your photos are wonderful. They remind me of most of the cathedrals we visit when we go to France and Germany.

Thanks for sharing.

Congratulations on finding peace and solace. Too bad the church hierarchy doesn't take time to tune into it. I'm sure many of the priests do, but not enough.

I wonder how many priests are gay? Hmmm?

April 21, 2009 12:28 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

If any priests are gay, I feel very, very sorry for them as they are, forgive the expression, in bed with an institution that completely distorts and demeans them. How horrible to be so out of touch with yourself, or so afraid of who you really are, that you have to hide in an institution that oppresses you. Scary.

I'd love to see Notre Dame in Paris.

But I will see the Vatican in June - headed to Italy for a month - woohoo!

I'd love to see your French and German cathedral pics Jack!

April 21, 2009 12:45 PM  
Blogger boneman (and his wild zinnia) said...

I guess you're also right about science. I've thought about it, and your thought on it's how mankind uses it is probably correct.
After all, science is just the study of events.
Kind of like religion was supposed to be just love the creation and help each other, though.
Give it to a man, and next thing you know, there's punishment, hatred, and revenge, all in the name of a god that nobody knows but everybody thinks they do.

Beautiful windows, though.

April 21, 2009 6:26 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

haha! yeah - beautiful windows! made from science, inspired by religion.

maybe there's good in both - if only we would use both science and religion for good instead of evil.


April 21, 2009 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bit of
a fixer-upper,
but still pretty nice


¤ ¤ ¤


April 22, 2009 10:01 AM  
Blogger Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...

Good point Jack, about the priests...
anyway I personally don't even think gays belong in the army because of what they they truely are and I am not talking about sex! I'm talking about what to expect from a person like that, by my experience it's selfdenial and treason and that's nobody who you want in positions where you need ethical conduct.

Back to churches: I really understand how you feel, Bird.
I often get simular feelings, but then again it seems to me, it's related to past-life-experiences...

Still you took very beautiful pictures, it's a very beautiful church!

re your post below: interesting, how you put yourself into the position of that girl! May I ask, what makes you do that? I think, it's a great thing, when people can identify themselves with others like that. but whjy do you do it? is it because you wish to underastand or because you feel sorry for her?

Do you know the Capeman-CD by paul simon? he writes on it that he did it because th Capeman was the most evil person around when he was young and he kind of needed to understand him...

April 22, 2009 12:33 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

/t. always lovely to see you - and I wish i was stopping by your place more often - I miss my old regular swoops through cyberspace - but I think I'll drop by later this evening.

And it is a lovely spring here in SF - almost 90 degrees yesterday and very warm earlier today. Now the fog has come in and cooled everything down. Sweet.

Sarah: I was a bit startled to read your comment about gays in the military. I don't think gays are inherently dishonest about who they are - but they certainly have been forced throughout history to hide who they are - though less and less - thank goodness. However, with "don't ask, don't tell," if you are gay, want to serve your country or reap any of the benefits (as some people see it) of the military, you are compelled to hide part of yourself. I can't blame gays for that - but the system. Gays are no more at risk for being "treasonous" than anyone else.

As for the fictive account of the 14 year old - I took on her voice for a variety of reasons: 1) I'm curious as to what that kind of experience might do to someone, 2) as a writer, getting inside a character (or trying to) is a good exercise - and ultimately - yes, I'm trying to understand some element of that situation and the universal themes wrapped up in it. ALso, sometimes writing from a first person perspective creates more immediacy and sometimes more tension.

Overall though, I'm not pleased with that piece - it's too rough - and too much telling - though it is a monologue. Still...

Thanks to all for dropping by!

April 22, 2009 7:19 PM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

bird, to see more photos, stop by my facebook site and check out the albums. I will be posting more later.

I think I even posted some to my blog back in July 2008. You can access them from by using the vacation and Viking Seine cruise label links.

Having spent a career in the Army, I served when the rules were quite strict about homosexuals not being allowed. I am sure that I have served with individuals whose sexual preference was different than mine. I do not subscribe to the notion that they are somehow less brave or courageous than "straight" soldiers. The gay soldiers have more to be wary of.

We did have at least one young man who used the lifestyle to get discharged. This was back during the Viet Nam era and our unit was being readied for reassignment.

It is a very sad state of affairs when one's sexual preference can make one a pariah.

I have often wondered just what is so reprehensible and fearsome to those who are homophobic. I have ideas, but no answers.

Have a great trip. Post some photos.

April 23, 2009 8:02 AM  
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February 21, 2010 8:00 PM  

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