A Turkish Muslim, a Canadian Hindu and an Australian agnostic go into a Catholic Basilica

Early in the morning idiots in bright coloured lycra run up and down the oratory stairs to destroy their knees. The humidity is intense. In the séance the French continues to wash around and over: it is obdurate I am impermeable. Yesterday we had several sessions in English and I am promised more today. But for now the French drones on. Right now a lawyer is talking about human rights, I think. I wish I could understand.

After class yesterday we ascended the holy mount, 14 flights of stairs according to my FitBit. The edifice 97 meters in total height. Built in 1904 it’s a very austere design. A barren, dark, masculine tomb – womb of the world, harsh and sharp edged, perched on top of the world, thrusting, penetrating the god’s domain.

I wanted to sing into the vacuum. To break the frozen muzzle on human expression. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.

Half way down, burrowed into the mount, amid the foundations of the mausoleum, there is a hidden space: the female, throbbing blood of belief. A uterus of faith rimmed by external fallopian staircases. In this womb candles flicker red and green. Prayers are offered. Hundreds of walking sticks and crutches are left behind as souls are strengthened. A smaller, older, more intimate place of communion. I took no photographs here, instead left candles lit and offered feelings of hope. If such a god exists, I trust those I have lost are held close in her womb.

The women gathered in the church under the mountain were not tourists. Some sat in prayer. Some praying rosary. Incense and prayer saturated the air. A place of peace, regeneration and life. I felt their strength. Accepted the gift of the still quiet pool of their humanity. And descended the mount.

Author: Wendy's Out of Station

I write as a way of processing and reflecting on experience, and as a way of sharing that experience. When I travel I used to write email journals back to friends, family, anyone who’d read and risk immersing themselves in my reality for a while: writing for them was a way of writing for me. Borrowing from Graham Greene in a flip of Travels with my Aunt, I imagined writing letters to my nieces, as their travelling aunt. Crafting the sentences became a way of extruding the experience, giving it birth, drawing its meaning from my soul, nurturing it into something tangible with a life of its own. The aim of my blog is to open the world to my thought-children, to let them out of the safety of my friends and family and let them experience the world. And in the process I get the honour of taking a larger group with me when I’m wandering around India and beyond, or just reflecting on parallel truths, thinking thoughts that take me to new places new beginnings. Please journey with me

4 thoughts on “A Turkish Muslim, a Canadian Hindu and an Australian agnostic go into a Catholic Basilica”

  1. I adore tbe written form of the story and how it chronologicly develops to a meaningful and holistic circular notion without any sharp edges.The reality in which it created by grasping tbe most red fire is metaphoricly quite undescribable. I was representing 1 out of 3rd of story but couldnt see me unless the eye of a needle was noticible. And it wasnt unless I have full conscience of myself. I like how how it unfolds to religion. I love the selfexistentialist way of nonnarsistic domain of belief and beyond. A spirituel soufism and Hindu Gandi teachings and virtue and agnostic inquisition were the elements of those three. Merci

    Liked by 1 person

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