Poppi, Can You Hear Me?
Forgive me Father, for I have sinned…
That’s what I would have said if the nasty priest hadn’t shunned me from his glass confession box. That’s the first problem: a glass confession box. Wait a hot second, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning…
If you ask me about religion you can expect a solid eye roll and a lot of nothing else. I’m a big believer in spirituality - religion as an attempt to find comfort in yourself and the world - however, I’ve noticed that not many people are on the same page. In my opinion, religion has turned into one more thing for people to disagree on and compete over. Very, very long anti-religion rant short: I don’t associate myself with any single religion, but have been interested in and respectful of all of the religions that mean so much to others. My acceptance of all religions was shot to hell when I visited the Notre Dame.
It all started when my History of Architecture “teacher” took us on a walking tour to the famous church. I was surprised to find that I actually gave a shit about all of the facts she piled on: there’s a story behind each of the intricate carvings on the exterior, thoughtful names of each of the three doorways at the front of the church, etc. My interest in the place only grew when we stepped inside. Beautiful stained glass windows lined the walls and high, high ceilings, and the light from clusters of candles illuminated every aisle and walkway. All in all, the Notre Dame rocked, and I was definitely trying to get in on its coolness. I signed the guest book with a heartfelt message: “Sophie, Chappaqua NY,” made a donation of 21euro-cents and lit a candle. This small candle was lit for Poppi - a man who would have punished me for participating in church activities by “braiding” my hair into a giant knot, but whose candle shone brighter than all of the others.
Shout out to the man who is missed: I wish more than anything that you were here. I think about you every time I see a dirty glass, a happy couple, a bottle of scotch, a kite. I know you’d be cracking the same joke for the billionth time if you were here - I promise I’d laugh. I love you.
Anyway, after becoming one with the Notre Dame I set out to do something I had always hoped to do: make a confession. I don’t know what it is about those little wooden cages, but those things definitely make me want to spill my secrets - and spill secrets and sins I was ready to do. (This post cannot fully explain just how excited I was to go to a confessional…seriously jumping for joy when I saw the sign “Priest is in”). So picture this: little (awkwardly tall) me searching around for an open confessional, only to find that the wooden structure I had dreamed of had been modernized into a huge glass room where you sit face to face with a priest. Don’t care, I’m going in. I sat in the waiting area and then walked up to the glass door and let myself in.
“Parlez-vous Anglais?” I asked. The cute old man said he did, in fact, speak English..go time. I was honest and began to tell the priest that I had never done…this…before, and asked how I should go about beginning. “You are not Catholic,” he spit out before I could even finish my introduction. Ok awkward…I tried to ask why that mattered and how he knew but he was done with me. I stood in his “office” for a few minutes hoping to make this work, but he wasn’t having any of it. I was officially shunned from the Notre Dame confessional.
To say I was an unhappy camper is an understatement. Crushed, embarrassed, heartbroken (insert other dramatic emotions) is more like it. THIS is exactly why I hate religion. Who gives an F if I’m Catholic or not - if I want to confess or take part in your practice let me do so, and welcome me with open arms…if you don’t you’ll end up as a horrible experience on my blog and your reputation will be ruined forever.
So here I am, full of sins I’m ready to confess and apologize for. Oh well, gave it a shot…YOLO.
peace, love, paris