Being quizzed

submitted to haibun prompt (a place for respite) on Mar 30, 2022 to

Today I went to my favourite place for meditation. In the church foyer, they sell books and cards from behind a staffed counter. I had previously learned that the church itself is closed at the moment for repairs (to the roof it appears), and that short services were being held in a nearby city church center. Today I asked the member of staff whether that alternative space was also open for quiet contemplation as I thought I would not want to attend any services (or meditations) guided by – Lutheran in this case – clergy. The lady didn’t think the space would be available outside of the arranged events and we then discussed briefly that repairs to the church would most likely be finished by the time my next visit from my home in England was coming round. The friendly lady then plucked up the courage to ask: “I am just being curious – why don’t you want to attend those meditations?”

To this I had to admit: I can only answer in English. After she nodded, she’d understand English, I explained: “I am done with religion, 3 times over. To put it in a different way, I work with the 12-step-program – spiritual not religious as it is.” Then I briefly apologised – having lived in Britain for over 25 years, personal stuff comes more natural to me in English. As I left, she looked still curious, and a bit pensive.

Ernst Barlach, Der Schwebende – The Floating One, Antoniterkirche Koeln

The artist took his friend and fellow artist Kaethe Kollwitz’ face as inspiration for the figure’s features. Kollwitz, who died not long after the Nazis came to power in 1933, had made it her life’s work to present humanity in and through all darkness, as I learned in an exhibition a couple of years ago, dedicated to her, just down the road from the church where Barlach’s sculpture is present.

There is no other place of respite for me.

presence is

compassion beyond


~ by Barbara S on February 10, 2022.

3 Responses to “Being quizzed”

  1. This is a beautiful and poignant piece. I, too, understand the quandary between spirituality and religion. I wish you peace in your journey ❤️

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