Sunday, October 18, 2009

*West Coast Churches

"A great anxiety has God allotted, and a heavy yoke, to the sons of men; From the day one leaves his mother's womb to the day he returns to the mother of all the living,
His thoughts, the fear in his heart, and his troubled forebodings till the day he dies--
Whether he sits on a lofty throne or grovels in dust and ashes,
Whether he bears a splendid crown or is wrapped in the coarsest of cloaks--
Are of wrath and envy, trouble and dread, terror of death, fury and strife. Even when he lies on his bed to rest, his cares at night disturb his sleep.
So short is his rest it seems like none, till in his dreams he struggles as he did by day, Terrified by what his mind's eye sees, like a fugitive being pursued;
As he reaches safety, he wakes up astonished that there was nothing to fear.
So it is with all flesh, with man and with beast, but for sinners seven times more."
- Sirach 40:1-8
Mission Dolores in San Franciso...

Sudden fears that this new relationship I'm in won't end up working out either. Why do I tend to jump so eagerly into these things, these love situations, expecting so much and reaping my own anxiety and insecurities instead? Why are these things so difficult? I've been in enough that I thought I understood what it takes. It turns out as time goes on and each day passes I actually know less and less than I thought I did. We as people are all such head-cases, with such major tendencies of spoiling ourselves with the things we think we deserve, and such true ignorance of what is really important. I am guilty of this when it comes to women, and they to me.

St. Augustine Church in Culver City...

Overall, despite my stupidity, I feel I have always ultimately made the right decisions about girls in my life - must stop here to give thanks to divine advisement and intervention. Now, I have to begin making these kinds of decisions all over again and figure out how to be selfless without being a dope; how to open up without letting the fear control me; how to love fully without selfish tendencies or hesitation.

*Wayfarers Chapel in Palos Verdes...

"Out of here, we're out of here, out of heartache, along with fear.
There goes the fear again. There goes the fear.

And cars speed fast, out of here. And life goes past, again so near.
There goes the fear again. There goes the fear.

Close your brown eyes, and lay down next to me.
Close your eyes, lay down, 'cause there goes the fear. Let it go.

You turn around, and life's passed you by.
You look to those you love, to ask them why?
You look to those you love, to justify.
You turned around, and life's passed you by. Passed you by, again.

And late last night, makes up her mind. Another fight, left behind.
There goes the fear again. Let it go. There goes the fear."

- The Doves
- - -
*[Wayfarers Chapel is not a Catholic parish, but a church sponsored by The Swedenborgian Church (a branch of Christianity I was not previously familiar with - you can read more on their theology here.) It's a beautiful little place set on the cliffs of Palos Verdes, overlooking the Pacific - a tiny glass chapel designed by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright, who insisted a visitor does not look at it as a chapel made of glass, but rather a chapel made of trees. And true enough, the frame of the place looks as if it was made from the surrounding trees themselves, bent and formed to create a very nature-inspired place of prayer and worship. This was a great little place to visit.]

Another Note:
I visited Los Angeles and the surrounding area this past week and had intended to visit some of the churches that one reader had anonymously commented on, but was however unable to arrange transportation due to my location and lack of personal vehicle (stupid L.A., have to drive everywhere!) If I make it to L.A. again, I plan on visiting them, especially the one in Dana Point. Anyway, if that reader is still out there, I'm wondering how you are doing, and I want you to know you remain in thoughts and prayers - and not just mine, but some other readers as well. God bless.


  1. Dear Andrew the Sinner,
    Your problems are typical of creative people in their 20's. Before you are able to establish a solid relationship with a woman, you need to feel sure of yourself as a man. I've been reading you blog for a while now and can perceive a great drive to creativity in you. There are two strong currents: your love of the churches and your wish for love, and you combine the two to great effect for us anonymous readers out here. But you work at a job you hate and are in search for another job you will hate. I know, I've been there... You need to address your needs and talents, acknowledge that you cannot be happy when you are trying to be something you are not. You need to be giving serious thought to writing and spirituality as a career. Perhaps you should consider writing a book about your soul search in churches at the same time that you give the art historical, architectural and social background of the places. This blog is a gem in the raw. If I keep coming here, it must be that it has something special. I have no idea who you are or what you are, yet your blog is one of my top 10 sites... What I am trying to say is find out who you really are and what you really are, and consider what drives you to this search of churches and God and art. You cannot find fulfilling love until you come out of your shell. Be the man you are meant to become and your woman will come. and stop drinking, it blocks the call of the Spirit. I hope I don't sound too rough, I just want you to know that you are not alone and that it won't be so hard once you learn to accept who you are. With love, Tanya p.s. No need to post this message, I just wanted to share my thoughts and hopefully give you an idea that might help (or not!)

  2. Your struggles are almost as inspiring as the great Mission (1776) and Basilica (ca. 1915) of Mission Dolores here in my Home Town.

    Thank you for including in your blogspot this place of Sol and Solace in a city whose soul and sky are so often clouded in mists of ambiguity. I have brought my own foggied soul here many times to light a candle at Our Lady's statue, and every candle I light to her is accompanied by tears that threaten ti extinguish it. Nuestra SeƱora de Dolores is honored nunder her title of Our Lady of Sorrows: she who weeps a thousand tears for every one of ours. We come to her not in our joys but in our pain and sorrow. She understands and cries along.