Jesus is The Man

WTF, Star Wars, Speed Date

I am, unapologetically, a Pagan. I have been since I was a child which has meant that I never had to disconnect from any previous ‘training’ to ‘become’ a pagan because I never took any in when I was exposed to it in school. Oh, I was exposed to it, alright. My mom was a devout Catholic and a prodigious sinner. She had her own private confessor whom she met with regularly, once a week. When I was a kid, she was going to mass every morning. EVERY MORNING. She would, on occasion, and way more than I would have preferred, drag me along.

There were two venues within easy distance of the house, one, a small chapel, that we could walk to and one she had to drive to. We usually went to the walking-distance one because she did like to get her exercise in, but on Sundays we always went to the church you had to drive to. The chapel was bearable for me in that it was gorgeous… like something from a fairy-tale book… and the nuns who tended it had an Infant of Prague Baby Christ statue that occupied a small pedestal just to the right of the altar and was dressed up in a different color cape and crown every day to match the priest’s vestments. The church was just a local parochial-school-associated place, and its main decorative feature was the series of white bas relief Stations of the Cross wall-sculptures that depicted that grisly event from start to finish, so we’re talking about a nearly naked, starving-looking guy, cut and bleeding while being forced to haul a gigantic cross to which he would eventually be nailed up a hill.

It was a no-brainer for me. Bright colors and a happy-looking baby king or… well… that.

At any rate, that was my early childhood experience with church, and I didn’t get it. Nature, I got… and I communed with it every chance I got, literally hiding out in the forsythia bush in the backyard for most of the warmer months. in the colder months I‘d hide out In various closets in the house that had lights and read the encyclopaedia. I hid out a lot; I felt that I had reason to as there were far-less-than-wonderful things happening to me at night. I’d think about Jesus sometimes… the two presentations I was exposed to. Needless to say, I suppose, the colorful baby Jesus had my heart, but adult Jesus, whipped and beaten and forced to carry the instrument of torture that would lead to his own death, that Jesus… he had my soul. I resonated with his predicament for reasons I will not go into here. Suffice it to say that my childhood was marked by a couple of different kinds of abuse from a couple of different sources. I saw, in the so-called Stations of the Cross, a journey worse even than my own and that man became my hero… he remains so.

In my home I have photographs of my husband’s parents whom I never had the opportunity to know but about whom I have heard so much good… and only good. I’m sure that like most folks, they must have had their faults but whatever those faults may have been they did not damage their offspring. Both my husband and his sister still revere them and now I do as well. I keep a photo of them on my desk. Nowhere in my home, though, will you find pictures of my parents. I have forgiven them their trespasses… I assisted my father when he was dying and visited with my mother when she was… but I have no reason to revere them. I do have, though, three different artist’s conceptions of Jesus — adult Jesus. One I purchased from an art show, one I found in a thrift shop in Rhode Island, and the other in a thrift shop not far from my current home. I have given the nicknames because by now they feel like my buddies. That’s “WTF???? Jesus” on the far left in the picture above… because he’s got that look on his face… and Star Wars Jesus in the middle because that’s the name the artist who created this work gave him… and Speed Date Jesus on the right, a name bestowed on him by my daughter who was with me when he found me. (Come to think of it, she was with me when I found WTF Jesus as well, and my husband with me when Star Wars Jesus showed himself… there’s something about keeping good company…)

I live in the woods now, surrounded by nature, virtually living a prayer, in the company of a kind, generous, loving, and understanding husband, and my three Jesuses. I am content.



Artist; Author of self-help books on healing with Ozark Mt. Publishers; survivor of two 'fatal, incurable' diseases and a healthy dose of CSA

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Victoria Pendragon

Artist; Author of self-help books on healing with Ozark Mt. Publishers; survivor of two 'fatal, incurable' diseases and a healthy dose of CSA