Some folks, still assuming I was an active member there, asked if I could get some serving spoons from the kitchen. But when I went in the kitchen, I felt like I was trespassing. I think they have now installed security cameras in the church so I was half expecting them to call the police on me -
- 911 what is your emergency?
- there's a gay person in the church
- I’ll send an officer right over
Anyway, it was a very strange feeling. There is a large quilt hanging where each family contributed a panel representing something about their family. There was ours - a beach scene with various sports equipment scattered around. It was like looking through a window onto a past life, but feeling like it was someone else’s life.
I went into the sanctuary. No longer was there that enveloping feeling of warmth and calm I used to feel. I sat in the pew I used to frequent - on an aisle, close to the door, of course - and looked up to the stained windows that circle the upper sanctuary. There is no apparent design yet they always reminded me of Georgia O’Keefe paintings in that subliminal sexual way, which always made me smile to myself, like it was some kind of inside joke.
And in the middle of all these swirls, there is a design that always reminded me of a bear-like figure sitting against a tree. Well, more like a human with a bear head, or a mascot figure.
Anyway, no matter how sad I was feeling or how off balance, I would sit in that sanctuary and look up at this figure and feel better. And as cold and un-welcoming as the sanctuary now felt, that little bear still made me smile. Like, just as he was so out of place in those windows, so was I totally out of place in this church.
Yet I was surprised at how much the wound still hurts . . .