Over at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, today’s prompt is Pilgrimage. This tanka is my take on this.
A Shinto Temple
Spirit shattered, heartbroken
Worthy of mending?
Priest’s belly laughs and incense
Helped me knit back the pieces.
For many decades I felt battered by the religious fundamentalism of my birth family. I was never good enough for them to be a Christian. So I stopped trying to come up to their expectation. Later I would realize that they are not Christians at all, but bullies that isolate and try to dominate in the name of their Christ. I feel that, for their personal issues, they distorted this Christ and Christianity. But it was too late. At the lowest point of my life I discovered Shintoism and found acceptance. I didn’t have to jump through hoops. Actually, it was more than acceptance. Fundamentally, I found a wonder at Creation that had no walls and took in diversity and difference. I didn’t have to paint bathing suits on my nudes as my sister in law suggested. Lord Jizo and that Joker of a Buddha Fudo became real and gave guidance in my life. Compassion with Jizo and sense with Fudo. These two expanded my heart and mind. I am very grateful for their presence in my life. But I don’t think that Christ or Christianity is ‘owned’ by these others….just distorted.