Perhaps my mother knows more about my religious upbringing than anyone else. Although we weren't a pious family, we had rendezvous here and there with churches and Sunday schools (Pudgies Pizza and the lady on my mother's organ - musical instrument, not ovaries). As a young man, weekends became visits to my grandparents in Sherburne and Hamilton, New York, and as a result they became my faith. Grandma Vera was devout and loyal to hard work. She habitually cleaned church linens and ran errands for everyone in her town. Grannie Annie taught us that God existed in everything and with her whimsical ways, her philosophy became all the faith I needed. God and Mother Nature did the nasty, she would teach me, and together they made Maude - a fusion of all the beauty in the universe.
"You should worship Maude. The earth and everything on it is all you need."
Over the years, I've surrounded myself with people unlike myself (many with religious upbringing foreign to my childhood). As a result I began using the phrase THE GREAT WHATEVER to define the miraculous ways life presents itself to me (I'm not sure when I started this, but the phrase came back into my peripheral view in the last few months). Some time ago, I gave in to the fact that there's a hook in my ribcage pulling me in a particular direction. I rarely question the destination and admit that I gave into the trajectory a long time ago. I don't know where I'm heading, I just know it’s supposed to be this way. I attention to signs around me and look for meaning in the way life presents itself. Ubuntu helps. So does Kuumba.
Perhaps this is why the last few days made total sense. We are the freckle on the eyelash of the mite that waterskis in the tears of amoebas. My personal existence is small in comparison to THE GREAT WHATEVER and I've always had a trust that my part in it all makes total sense to the larger picture I will never have control of. Whether Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Animist, Christian, Jewish or some other faith, I define my part as a peculiar footnote.
AnERip was right - Maude matters most. All we need to know can be learned by absorbing everything that comes our way.