The Place Where Pirates Worship. Tybee Church, aka Bar Church, is a place where you can feel your soul expand. In Paladin of Souls, by Lois McMaster Bujold, Ista receives the ability to see people’s souls and she describes how some are bright and healthy filling the entire being, and others are dark, or seem loosely attached or others are curled in on themselves as if in pain. As I sat at the bar (flip flops and smokers welcome) in the Windrose Café listening to Sam Adams offer praise for the life of one of their members that who had died on Friday I could feel my soul unfurling, like a bud opening and reaching for the warmth and light of the sun. I left there feeling renewed. Part of a family that may be stumbling but one that has their hands out to catch someone before they fall or help them up if they have; leaning on each other to stay upright.
I was raised Catholic and have visited just about every Christian denomination and regularly attended services at several. Always was searching, finding a temporary home, picking up a nugget of truth but never really coming to rest. I have finally been able to articulate the reason why; it’s because I end up feeling that my soul was being enclosed in a box, constrained and limited. It was allowed to grow but only into a certain shape and form. Reaching out beyond the proscribed area or throwing out a wild tendril resulted in a firm pruning. I don’t mean to say that I didn’t meet wonderful, caring, giving people, because I did. Over the years they provided help and support that I needed, but I also hid that part of me that didn’t fit. I conformed, outwardly, in order to fit in when I needed too.
I don’t want to continue that way. I won’t continue that way. I can’t continue that way.
I’ll admit that I was a bit uncomfortable the first time I went. I was afraid I’d do the wrong thing. I sat in the very back, hoping to escape notice. Then I realized that it wasn’t possible to do the wrong thing. I could sit quietly, I could talk, I could sing as loudly or as softly as I wanted. Respect for Sam, the band, the speaker and “the church” was a given, but people worshiped in their own way, drawing comfort and hope and sustenance from what was being offered. The second time I felt a bit more free but I still sort of snuck in the door as though someone was going to tell me that I didn’t belong. This time, I spoke to Ross (the self-proclaimed official doorman), sat at the bar and spoke to others that sat next to me, confident that I belonged. Dedra’s warm welcome, when I caught her attention, was like water on a thirsty plant. Growth was assured when I met Micheal in person; it was his example and encouragement that gave me the courage to start writing publicly.
The lesson for today:
There are 5 things in life you cannot recover:
A stone….after it is thrown
A word…after it is spoken
An occasion…after it is missed
The time…after it is gone
A person…after they die
Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love Truly. Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that made you smile.