Corlanthum Sketch | Ash Wednesday at Saint James Church

This week’s Sketch video is a more meditative one - taking an experimental approach to an Ash Wednesday Service at Saint James Episcopal Church. It felt appropriate to abstract a service like this, since an abstracted view is close to my personal experience with spirituality in general.

I grew up in the Evangelical church, and was deeply rooted and committed to loving Jesus Christ. As I got older, right before starting college, I decided to take a step back from religion and spirituality in general, with the intention to come back around to it with a better personal understanding once I explored other religions and spiritual practices. I even explored Atheism for a quick moment, but that didn’t really stick for more than a couple weeks, since I’m a bit too existential and romantic of a human for that to feel undoubtedly true for me.

I scrubbed through the spiritual Rolodex, bouncing from interests in Philosophy, to Anthropology and Sociology, to Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Norse Mythology. As I learned and tried on these different understandings and approaches, I realized really only one truth - that humans desire to be at peace, and in whatever ways different people try to find that peace, it’s all just a unifying attribute in all of us.

These days, that one truth is what I’ve settled my search on (for now at least). Religions are more of a cultural thing, and less of a truth-based thing. And there’s nothing wrong with that - culture is a beautiful thing, and the diversity of cultures is a truly beautiful mosaic. But I believe we’re all talking about the same dang thing. Generally speaking, we’re all grappling with the same virtues, the same issues, the same search for meaning, peace, stillness, love, and joy. How we find those things just changes depending on the culture of which we’re a part. The books by which we abide, the traditions we hold dear, the history to which we pay our attention - they’re all pieces of that culture.

But that’s just me. I find the most peace in this understanding of humans and life. And I love it, because I can sit back and enjoy whatever spiritual practice is in front of me at the moment. It’s truly a joy.

Thank you for reading.

Talk to you soon.

Alyssa, the Corlanthum human