The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day Six--Underground Freeway/Notes from the Underground

Notes from the Underground
Underground Freeway–Day Six, May 27, 2009
By Pi Kielty

Day Six, a Wednesday, started later than the past few mornings. I arrived in Stone Mtn. on Tuesday, almost evening. I surprised Lucky when she opened the door. She knew nothing of my getting on the road last week. As will be known later, my unannounced visit has a steep relation to things present, things past. She, B., and their daughter and son, stand among my closest friends of two decades running, and I spend so little time with them the last eight years, seeing them this week for the second time since 2001. They overwhelm me with their welcomeness to this traveler losing his way, always, and lost getting into town but taking two blind turns into nowhere and landing on their doorstep. Like other things on this journey, it seems I arrived with some sort of timeliness that gives some positive reason to hope things will be alright.

I tent in the backyard so I don’t impose. B. stayed up late with me to watch an existential hero movie. This day, the sixth since leaving, started late, as said. In the morning I visited with Lucky until she left for her afternoon job. Discussing with her the reasons for coming unannounced but not unwanted, Lucky understands me because we have been like twin siblings though apart by a year. She was my “lucky broom” that swept up the mess behind me at one time. I visit now so she and I can intervene on the way trends go, to reverse the damage in my life before it all unravels past return. Lucky saved me from insanity once. She holds many of the keys closing the door to the day-mares that I open on tough occasions.

Day Six continued the drear-gray overcast of rain intermittent, and I wore sweaters under my rain smock as I sat outside. After Lucky left and before B. came home from work, I took my camera and, because of the mist-drizzle, filmed from the car.

Seeing many of them in the round about lost way I found Lucky and B.’s house, I retraced my route getting here yesterday to get footage of the churches in the country I passed on the way to town. They become the mini-theme within the theme of my tour of “Questions.”

In the parking lot of the first one, looking through the pullout view screen of my crappy 8 mm camcorder, the image I framed showed the handy work and craft of men, and some women, no doubt, in the set masonry of light, tan-brown brick. Each brick for a place, each place for a brick, the line formed on the solid square of the foundation corners, the sky grayish mortar holding the small structure on an empty, rolling driftless plain on a parcel acre of the four way road intersection. A flock dwells here brought, like all churches of the faith, together by a Shepard on Sundays and other days as required by the followers of Johnny Prophet. Atop the steeple so protest-tant in its simplicity, an ungilded off-white cross proclaimed itself for its country mile in the lowland view. Nothing of this church betrayed ostentation in presentation. The building itself possessed an austerity of small, frugal but very solid and formed for a simple function, but to endure long past the lives of its true living testament: the people’s lives in their faith to its tenets. It could not hold a gymnasium audience within it. I’m sure coffee, cake, and fellowship came from a large electric pot, a home’s kitchen, and those who knew when one got lost in their ways. No espresso or gourmet or “smiling blind” here, I like to think. Does plainlessness and simplicity betray something like a small congregation, or a poverty in pocketbooks? This sect everywhere I’ve been are noted for their for rigorous faith, among the many different “fans” of the god there exist. I shall not judged them by their building, but it had a richness of a pauper traveler’s stable. Let them believe in what they want or need to believe.

Up the road, for the other country mile past the hill behind the first church, I viewed a church so large that not even its unaesthetic architecture would disabuse a thought on its deceiving to poverty. Stone Mtn. is a Norse town, and many of its descendants would ultimate their faith by protesting faith in the alternative mainstream of the Midwest. The building set less square on its sides in a box than an elongated section upon section of angles, parallelograms, that precise masons laid for its expensive-in-detail patterned-speckled dark brown bricks, unplain the closer one examined them. The ostentation came in proportion to its size. Even if of median income, the proportion was large by possible numbers of Nordic churchgoers in a Northman town. Plain vanilla could be priced high from a calf that milks the golden cream. The structure deceived my own sense at first. It looked like any compromise of accounting: A bigger bang for the buck, but lots of bucks means one thing: MORE bangs. One wonders about the danger any faith can do to people if it is as lukewarm as Midwestern “hotdish.”

The final church I filmed was located in town, on the main street just a two or three blocks from the real downtown business district. It did not look functional for a church of mass belief, yet it possessed that universal church quality, despite the small size. A town with a demography of protestors might not settle many members upon its pews. The quality of faith, once again, does not depend on the numbers who believe it–only that those who believe, however few, do believe. In terms of the pocketbook, the church carried the quality of quality. The architecture more classic and refined, hearkened to the late 19th and early 20th Century style of Victorian design. The brick was deep red. The colors crimsoned almost as the crucifixion itself. The plaque read, “1904-2004 Dedicated to the greater glory of God.” Mosaic stained glass I imagined the high arched windows, but they in reality showed clear glass with white trimmings holding different rectangular or pined shapes. The tower on the front corner of the intersection (again on the prime intersection of four corners) rose to a prominent peak. The bells might still chime on Sunday’s massing, still, after 105 years. Yet the churches richness bespoke what measure and style of worship in this sect universal.

Perhaps some faith requires a money market or a mutual fund. Faith in something is, after all, the greatest insurance policy known, if we live in fear. Contrition does the accounting of my mind. However, I just do not see how giving pennies for penance as an indulgence adds to my balance sheet ledger of life. A poor person best forgive his fellows, or his weight in gold puts the price of peace of mind into the debt obligation he must default in the end. One may bribe a believer with a promise of reprieve, and in the pardon comes the larceny of stealing my spirit for an estate.

“Question:” “Why do we need to by to buy a brick House for god in order to worship?”

I would hope my praise speaks loudest by the silence of Judgement for those who have faith different than mine. As a critic and pauper, I will only judge the use and function of architecture. I can hope my anonymous good acts, whatever they might be, when done allow me to get closer to my god. The only real estate I really need to worship is the patch of earth upon which I stand, as long as I allow fellow humanity to stand on their own in their thoughts and words. I am, furthermore, grateful to occupy my foothold, with a heartbeat today.

Money and faith mix as bad as money and politics. Either a priest, prophets, politicians or police find ways to corrupt them. If and when my god needs my money, his oil, her body, or up to our souls, I think it would just take it without needing to ask: They belong to the god already, we simply borrow on far larger credit than a mortgage.


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