Monthly Archives: March 2012

Black and White

Black and white have no place in my global perception. I am not talking about race based vocabulary but the notion of right or wrong-the good or evil type of black and white. That is not to say that I don’t think that some actions, people and items are good and bad, but rather to note that the connection between everything on this planet consistently produces shades of grey. I live comfortably in this tonally varying world.

I was conversing with a Woman today about the place religion holds in her life. This idea of the ‘ultimate truth’ kept coming up, which I suppose is the foundation of every religion, and why I am never quick to label myself a part of that world. I asked her about her view on the reality that so many differing practices of faith have come from one book: The Bible. She replied that the diversity in interpretation comes from people trying to apply shades of grey to black and white issues.

I have this whole idea that if we can open up peoples personal worlds of faith, we can find nourishing acceptance within a fundamental necessity in the human experience. Maybe this is my idealism shining through, the above conversation pulling back my realist nature. The Woman that I talked to today was clear that it was not her place to judge whether or not people followed her Religion’s black and white rules, but I don’t see how that is a human possibility. I don’t see how we can say things are either right or wrong, and then not separate ourselves as the stewards of good from the wrongdoers. Can we have separation without judgment? Black and white always creates an otherness, which in our current system of patriarchy equates to a moral hierarchy.

Maybe religion is still too rigid for my idealistic vision, but somehow and somewhere I still know that this project I am undertaking is important, because loving your neighbors is important. I know that within our world we continue to highlight the no and the negative when there are so many yeses and positives we could pay attention to. Maybe to stay positive I just need to shift my objectives. Systems don’t change over night, our mind and the world’s churches included. But our slow evolution should not undermine progress. Just as I am let down by some aspects of a conversation others will pick me up, our reality goes on in the direction that we place emphasis.

Rolling out the Faith Photos.

Rodriguez bows to her Shrine, her iPhone keeping count of her session.

A Note on Sunday.

Last Sunday in Church I asked for clarity. Not normally a church goer, I was put on the spot in a small prayer circle, something that I have never before participated in. The four of us Women, strangers to each other, were standing, holding hands, and asking our Father for all that we strive for as humans. The moments that passed in our circle reiterated my belief in faith, faith in humanity. For that point in time in a Brooklyn Church it did not matter if the four of us had not previously met, or what we were wearing, where we were going to or coming from. We were all equal in the eyes of our Father and thus each other.

I am currently in the process of taking on a photography project about faith. The goal of my project is not to document the walls of faith that divide us but rather the faith filled minds that can unite us. In my life faith goes beyond singularity, it does not hold all answers but rather promotes questions. Outside of my individual world I can’t seem to escape faith, there are storefront churches, and bible pamphlets around every corner. Right now people all over the globe are reaching out for something. I think it is something that is bigger than a pamphlet, and I want to be searching for it too. It is a new way to see yourself in the world, a way to define your meaning in an anonymously designed and globally followed set of systems. Faith is individual and communal all at once and for this can hold such significance.

This Sunday, I am sitting in my basement room thinking about love and faith and intention. I am thinking about everyone who has happened into my life and reaffirming my faith in them. I think our world took a turn for the worse when we stopped believing in each other, and I would like to focus this personal project on illuminating the beauty in the individual as we work on rebuilding the whole.