Today I've been thinking of Baptism. I regret never getting Baptised as a child. Wait, let's rewind a little and I'll give you a (very brief!) story on my 'spiritual journey'.

I come from a completely non-religious home. Bunch of heathens! Nah - I had a pretty privledged childhood but it was devoid of religion. But I've always been drawn to Christianity, since as far back as I can remember I've 'talked to God'. I'm weird. I know.

So when I was about... oh... eight years old I started going to church with a Mexican family. I didn't (and still really don't) know much Spanish. But they wanted to take me to church (their youngest girl and I were best of friends) and I was grateful, so I'd sit through the Spanish services and listen as best I could. The mom, I still remember her vividly, was Carmen. And one day she took me into the pastor's office and asked me if I'd like to acceptamos Jesus Cristo into my heart. And of course I excitedly nodded yes.

So the pastor and Carmen took my little trembling hands and prayed over me, and then I repeated as best I could a Spanish prayer and we said "Amen!" together. I opened my eyes and felt hugely satisfied with myself. I did it! I was saved! Carmen and her family took me out for lunch that Sunday afternoon, and it was a joyous affair.

The next few weeks Carmen wanted to get me Baptized. She asked my parents, who weren't against the idea and said to go ahead. So Carmen took me to a few Baptism ceremonies so I could observe (so I wouldn't be afraid... you know... to an eight year old girl it IS a little scary), and I chickened out. I told Carmen I wasn't ready to be Baptized. She told me not to worry, that Jesus had already saved me and loved me very much no matter what I did. She told me to keep praying.

And so I was thinking about that Baptism. How would my life be different if I HAD gone ahead and gotten Baptized? So I wrote about it, naturally. That and my feeling of complete otherness while in the church, an otherness I shrugged off and eventually learned to embrace.

Its a cute poem I guess, nothing super deep. Just, if I had been Baptized, I think I would have been Baptized into more than just a religion. Now, looking back, it probably would have been a cultural Baptism, too. And I would have become more apart of a foreign community.

I loved that little church. Maybe one day I'll go back, attend a Spanish service, and be Baptized in El Nombre de Jesus Cristo. Not all of us are so lucky to have Carmens to guide us.

Here's the last stanza of my poem, anyway:

and in El Nombre de Jesus Christo, I breathed in the thick water –
emerged with hungry lungs, hiding my blue eyes
behind squinted eyelids. Somewhere in the water
floated a blurred image, the little girl trembling,
wrapped tight in a auburn towel and the dark arms
of a preacher who kissed my forehead clean.

Ok so I promise the rest of my posts won't be so... pious. Anyway, in other news...

I'm still struggling with that newspaper submission. Bruno (the all wise computer engineer lover) advised me not to submit my very best work, to be optimistic that it will get placed elsewhere and to submit something new/previously unsubmitted. So ok, I'm taking his advice.