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Composting Religion


As a lifelong seeker, I’ve dipped my fingers into many holy waters, from my childhood Catholic upbringing to Buddhism, Hinduism, and the Tao.


My daily prayers are more likely to tend toward a Mary Oliver, Rumi, or Hafez poem. Sometimes I lay down in the grass and look at the clouds. Or breathe the scent of flowers.


When I began working with egg tempera, I knew its spiritual beginnings. The altarpieces from the 11th century through the Middles Ages in northern Europe were painted using egg tempera.


The images varied but were meant to interpret the liturgy as the priests turned their backs on the parishioners. This practice fell by the wayside as the Protestant Reformation banned using images in churches in the 16th century.


Interestingly artists moved on to portrait painting even as humans began looking within.


Even as humanity turned inward, did we mistake spirituality for reality?  Did hateful theologies cast aside joy? Has religion betrayed us? Have we been tricked out of the miracle of miracles of rising and reaching eternal meaning that the ways of the earth are ways to heaven?


In a stone, humans see nothing more than a stone, in a flower, nothing more than a flower, and in humans, nothing more than a human.


With the idea of composting, we may not need to destroy or kill what came before but allow nature to recycle dying material and ideas into rich fertile soil. We can take the best and most nourishing from antiquated institutions and collectively cultivate a new vision. And with it, a simple, obvious truth that to accept the world is to transform it and us.

A stone angel statue with flowers and vines climbing around it
A stone angel with moss, lichens and flowering vines
A stone angel with moss, lichen and flowering vines
A stone buddha with ferns, moss, lichen and grass
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