Gathering Together Unto Him

Monday, April 01, 2019

On my birthday eve last year, I found myself going through a rather moving experience. I have been thinking about it, if not every day, at least once a week since the episode. I had a revelation about it recently.

During my brief time in London, I decided to schedule a visit to St. Paul's Cathedral. Friends, convent school hangover and sightseeing porn together, I was on a high to include as much as possible. However, if I'd planned better between sleeping and wasting my hours drinking, I'd have managed to attend the Sunday mass. Clearly, planning my life isn't a priority in my case.

After changing two buses and walking a fair bit, I managed to reach the place and stood in the queue to get the ticket. It was the only ticketed space beside the musical I paid for and didn't quite mind paying to get in. Again, call it the convent school hangover but I'd have probably not done the same for another religious institute doing the same. My first impression of St. Paul's was extremely underwhelming. This is what these two friends were raving about? Sure, it's beautiful with all the art and the architectural design but man, it was underwhelming.

Somehow, after checking about the entire space, I found myself kneeling and crying loudly. It was surreal. I'd not done this, insofar as going inside a religious space to "pray" and I did not plan to do this. It just happened.

As soon as I kneeled down to offer a prayer, I burst out crying. All of the past year, my family, people I love and everyone else came to my mind and how everyone conspired to make the trip happen. What seems so trivial to people when they say they "travel" took years to happen and for me to experience that. I found myself in the church a few hours before my birthday and it seemed like an occasion just as good as any to be thankful to that imaginary man or woman we apparently pray to, to hear us and apparently answer for our wishes.

It was heavy and moving and all-consuming. It took me a long time to get out of the place in a state where I wasn't embarrassed to walk out with a face all puffy. When I got sloshed out of my mind that night, I recall mentioning this to a friend in a pub's washroom. My guess is that she doesn't remember and I'd have it that way.

I think about that day a lot. The last three months when I was bummed, I would often go back to that day and think that if things had to be a certain way, it would be. Causation is the guiding force here. We can't make things happen out of thin air, every little thing has a solid reason behind it - for its existence, for its purpose to be fulfilled.

It made total sense to me then, when I realized, I burst out crying in the church because I was pms-ing unknowingly. My cycle had fucked completely and I got my period in exactly three weeks. In this case, three days after that incident when I was 35000 feet up in the air, crying and drinking about this whole journey coming to an end.

Sometimes, I wait for an episode in entirety to end, just so I can have the last laugh. So what if I didn't get the Commonwealth Scholarship to study Anthropology of Media. I went to a film school and learned puppetry and did theatre and met some great people who I know call friends. I don't have a loan to repay and I certainly don't have a care in the world, if it means for me to quit my job and sit my ass at home because it's not worth my time.

I guess I gave Jesus a lot more credit than he deserves when it was all about my unfertilized eggs. Years ago, when we were in school and working on "Easter" themed Bulletin Board design competition between classes, I recall Sr Joyce walking past and telling me, "Your eggs are flying" while signalling to the paper eggs I'd drawn. Never has anything made more sense than her premonition about this entire episode.

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