I grew up in the dichotomous religious world of “flesh vs. spirit,” the lamentable heritage of Pauline duality. I know–a mouth-full to say that New Testament texts beyond the gospels and Acts are full of the “fight” between the body us and the “real us” (meaning spirit us). I don’t know when I started resisting this theological assertion. I always experienced the world so fully with my body as a child–climbing trees, hugging, my Gran Gran “scratching my head,” running. I knew LOVE only and because I loved my flesh that weeps that feels that sings that dances. Long before I knew what to call this split, I knew that it was wrong–especially in a religion that claimed Jesus came as divinity in the flesh–to condemn the body. Plus, there was nothing quite so holy as the wind on my face as I rode on the back of the motorcycle with my friends Darlene or Terry, holding tight and becoming connected to the wind and the warm body I held. Holy. Love. All the way. In this place, as Baby Suggs Holy preaches, we ARE flesh. And that’s a GOOD thing.
January 21, 2012