Monday, August 14, 2006

A strange dream

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with a fresh sense of wonder, and wish the same upon you.

In my dreams last night I met a woman named Roza Doxxo. She had a strange, decadent innocence about her, a wide-eyed desire to explore sensuality and intellect, an uncompromising devotion to communicating her interior world of love for the human figure and obsession with its dark and visceral facets. A brilliant writer and a natural talent with pen-and-ink drawing, she showed me her ingenious work-in-progress -- an openly sexual murder-mystery novel that consisted entirely of pictures and descriptions and physical artifacts representing the clues in her imagined crime, which she had arranged so artfully that by merely looking from one piece of evidence to the next, I understood the movement of the story, the arc and weave of the lives and deaths she meant to describe.

I cannot remember ever having smelled in a dream, before last night. But I smelled Roza Doxxo’s hair in the moment she first passed close by me. And I did not just smell it -- it penetrated my senses so vividly that I could almost still smell it when I woke. Intoxicating, rich, as luxuriously human and also as deliberately constructed as everything else about her. She had worked to get her hair to smell as clean and natural as it did. But like all other things, the work appeared to come easily to her.

Entranced and amazed, I recognized quickly that the woman who accompanied Doxxo was her lover. And I also recognized quickly that Roza Doxxo found me, for whatever reason, more alluring and attractive than her current flame. We parted with a clear sense of promise, and I caught a vibration of resentment from the soon-to-be-cast-off girlfriend.

This dream spun off from a recurring stress-dream that I have: the return-to-school dream, in which I am burdened with coursework for an ill-considered revisitation of my college career. But it spun off into someplace ethereal and peculiar, as I searched in the library for a book to read and write literary criticism of. As I saw within the glass display case a hand-bound volume with a warning label applied in Doxxo’s eccentric handwriting: “Warning! XXX drawings!” As a colloquy of writers appeared to discuss the books they’d written and left on the shelves. And as Doxxo herself came strikingly into the room, raven-haired and dark in dress, her voice brash and accented.

And oh, the scent of that hair.

Thank you, Roza Doxxo. I am your humble servant.

Lovingly yours,

A devotee

Monday, June 12, 2006

Perfection in Imperfection

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with the holy word "love."

When you see that which you do not have, the world is less than perfect. When you see that which is lovely, and yet could be lovelier, the world is less than perfect.

When you grasp that things are unfair, the world could hardly seem further from being perfect.

But there is an advantage that this world has over the perfect world: we know that we have this one.

Accept the fact that imperfection will occur. Acknowledge how rampant it is upon the face of this planet. And then, when you have come to fully appreciate the flaws with which our entire existence is wracked, let yourself marvel at how beautiful and wondrous are the beauties and wonders granted to us.

For all that the world tries to visit sickness and disappointment upon us, for all the black-hearted plots that are laid bare on the news, or malevolent banalities whispered to us by the office grapevine, there are still moments and scenes of such stunning purity, truth, and, yes, perfection for us to enjoy that we should rejoice in our hearts for the opportunity to suffer as we suffer in return for the privilege of experiencing them.

That so much beauty can exist in a world capable of such ugliness is a testimony to our minds and eyes and hearts.

Thank you, goddess of love, for the ability to see, and for the chance to see you, in each instant of perfect and imperfect glory alike.

Lovingly yours,

A Devotee

Friday, June 02, 2006

Thank you, Goddess of Love, for presenting us with such fields of beauty

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with the holy word, "love."

If you have the opportunity to attend a birthday party for a child, held at one of the various chain pizza parlours that specialize in maddeningly loud video arcades and/or animatronic musical animals, you should do so.

Look around, while there. Observe the joy in the faces of the children. See the mothers, the fathers -- pay attention to the way they look upon their little ones and upon one another.

If you open your senses correctly, even the unholy racket will sooner or later start to sound blissful.

Lovingly yours,

A Devotee

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Goddess Has Revealed To Me No Opinion On 'The DaVinci Code.'

Greetings, beautiful traveler. I greet you with the holy word 'love.'

Last Sunday as I drove around, I passed a number of churches with marquee teasers indicating that their sermons for the day intended to discuss 'The DaVinci Code.' The signs bore messages like, "The DaVinci Cult" and "The DaVinci Delusion."

In response to this, I would just like to say that if Dan Brown wants to write a multimillion-selling novel revealing a disturbing conspiracy at the heart of this website, he should feel free to do so.

Lovingly yours,

A Devotee

On Being Anti-Pronouncements

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with the holy word 'love."

I just wanted to briefly note that I never at any moment presume to speak for you. As you read the thoughts and meditations here, you may encounter language that suggests otherwise, but rest assured that I use that language only out of convenience.

So, for instance, when I write, "the ability to commit is one of the most precious gifts that the goddess has bestowed upon us," what I really mean is, "I perceive that the ability to commit is one of the most precious gifts that the goddess has bestowed upon me." It just gets to be a drag, continually writing "I perceive," or "I envision," and I worry that it gets to sounding rather arrogant if I persistently write "I" and "me."

Then, too, we are all of us desirous of company, and by writing of an "us," I help myself feel that I am not alone.

So please don't think that I presume to say what the goddess has or hasn't given to you, what she has or hasn't done for you, what she will or will not mean to you. All of those things are for you to discover, or for you to dismiss, as you choose.

Lovingly yours,

A Devotee

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with the holy word 'love.'

There is no greater gift than the gift of commitment.

I mean this in two ways. First, I mean that your own personal commitment to another, or to a cause, is an act of generosity beyond any other that you can manage. This is because commitment is not singular. It has no bound at the point that it is given. Other deeds of kindness and giving have their moment and then pass. But commitment is always given with an intent of continuation.

Second, I mean that the ability to commit is one of the most precious gifts that the goddess has bestowed upon us. When we commit, we extend ourselves into the future, whether we are committing to a personal goal, to a relationship, or to a faith. By committing, we insist that there is hope, that we will continue, and that we have something to offer.

Take yourself into a time beyond 'now.' Find someone, or something, to commit to.

Lovingly yours,

A Devotee

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with the holy word 'love.'

In case you need it cleared up: unlike most religions, this one makes no pronouncements about what constitutes moral behavior.

Of course, I personally have opinions about morality, about moral and immoral actions, moral and immoral people. But the point of this faith is to achieve happiness through thankfulness, through generosity, and through love. Anyone who signs on for that and makes a purposeful effort to live by these principles will probably find his or her way to morality as a matter of course.

Lovingly yours,

A Devotee

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Goddess of Love, thank you for Gustav Holst's 'The Planets.'

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with the holy word 'love.'

I have no wisdom to share tonight, but if there is wisdom in beauty, try listening to Holst's symphonic suite, 'The Planets.'

Lovingly yours,

A Devotee

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with the holy word 'love.'

In case you're wondering, I'm not entirely comfortable with my observances to the goddess of love. Having lived a life of agnosticism, I find worries thronging at me with regard to adopting a religion, and certainly with regard to inventing one.

What if some existing religion is already correct? Agnostically, I can't deny the possibility. And it's conceivable that a deity who might have tolerated my agnosticism will take offense at my giving thanks to the goddess.

On the other hand, what if my agnosticism is fundamentally correct? Am I throwing aside a true religion to immerse myself in delusion, as I generally believe the substance of most religions to be delusional?

Fortunately, a primary benefit of agnosticism is the ability to shrug and say, "You know what? I really don't know." And given that I don't know, and that my thanks to the goddess have buoyed my spirits, I am willing to accept her even if I have no sense of her reality.

If you're contemplating joining me, and worry about whether your own religion can coexist with acknowledgements to the goddess of love, I would suggest that any conflict is a strictly one-way affair.

The goddess is not a jealous goddess. She gives, or gives not, without regard to what faith you profess. Your prayers do not entice her to give. Your thanks do not make her love you any more or any less. The giving of thanks is for your benefit. It is meant to provide a feeling of connection to her - to remind you of all that you have been gifted with.

If your current religion forbids you to believe in other gods, then I certainly can't advise you to take up the path that I have. But be aware that the goddess does not require you to abandon any belief in order to offer your appreciation to her.

Lovingly yours,

A Devotee

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Three Principles

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with the holy word 'love.'

I need to brush my teeth and get to work this morning, so I'll try to be brief.

There are three principle components to my worship of the goddess of love: thankfulness, generosity, and, of course, love.

I thank the goddess for everything that I can, I attempt to feel love for those around me in her name, and I seek to practice generosity in thought and action wherever I can.

There is no room in this triad of principles for self-oriented requests. I do not ask the goddess to deliver any personal benefit to me. Since I conceive that she has already given me almost everything of value, to request more would seem pretty ungrateful. Also, I don't care much for the notion of a deity who plays favorites based on prayers.

On the other hand, I do beseech the goddess on behalf of others, especially when I see them bearing looks of unhappiness or discontent. This may be contradictory to what I said above, but I'll wrestle with that some other time.

Lovingly yours,

A devotee

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I know of no beginning, and I know of no end

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with the holy word ‘love.’

I started to title this entry with a tongue-in-cheek “In the Beginning . . .” But after about half a second, I realized that to do so would be A) blasphemous and, even worse, B) unbearably trite.

Also, to say “In the Beginning . . .” would make it sound like I know something which I do not. I’d be coming across as in control, in the know, and probably insufferable. Whereas the truth is that I don’t know the truth.

You see, the religion that I’m going to describe here is an exploration, not an explanation. It is about appreciation and application, not about revelation.

(I know that I’m about two sentences away from most readers saying, “Wow, this person is a freak,” but bear with me a moment more.)

For most of my life, including all of my adult life, I’ve been a devoted agnostic. It has seemed the only sensible religion to me. At some times this has been because I recognize that my brain is entirely too small to encompass all the secrets of the universe. At other times it’s been because every other religion that I’ve ever encountered has some weird or outright creepy metaphysical tomfoolery associated with it. You know - provoking divine wrath by eating the wrong foods, having to spend a specific number of incarnations as a bug or a rat because you acted selfishly, or even just being punished through endless generations because of something utterly beyond your control that one of your ancestors did before your great-great-thousand-times-great grandparents were born.

I don’t mean to disparage the world’s great religions -- for all I know, any one of them (or several) could be absolutely 100% true. And most of them bring peace, happiness, and morality to their followers. But if you’re being realistic, you should probably admit that from the outside they all appear to have some pretty strange baggage attached.

And so I have been content to say, “I really don’t know. Someday I’ll die, and maybe then I’ll find out. But until then, it only makes my head hurt to think about it.“

Or at least, I had been content to say that.

Lately, the weight of the world has borne down upon me, and I have found myself in need of comfort. Where once I believed in the general goodness of humankind, I have more recently begun to despair that we are worthy of respect at all. While I had faith in people, I needed little faith in religion. But as my faith in humanity has lapsed, I have begun to wonder.

So if one is losing faith in the human race, both collectively and as individuals, what can be done about it? I could not seriously contemplate turning to an existing religion, for the reasons described above. But I also could not simply will myself to believe in people, when so many prominent reasons to distrust and even revile them were being thrust daily in my face, whether by the news media, by the corporate grapevine, or by my own eyes.

Embarrassingly enough, my solution derived at least in part from seeing ten or fifteen minutes of a truly awful made-for-TV movie on the Sci Fi channel. The scene that I saw while flipping past included a meeting between a living human and a goddess who’d come to Earth or to whatever bizarre mythical land the movie was set in. I don’t know why she was there, and I did not bother watching the remainder of the movie (which appeared to be nearing its end anyway) to find out. But that intimate and direct personal contact between mortal and deity stuck in my head.

Weeks or months later, as I cast about for a means to keep myself out of deepening depression, I hit upon this notion: that I should form own religion, with my own goddess, whom I could directly address in order to keep my focus upon that which is beautiful in this life.

And so I began going through my day making regular prayers of thanks to the goddess of love. Thanking her for the people around me. Thanking her for the views of beauty presented to me in the morning sunlight or in the twilight that comes at dusk. Thanking her for music, and art, and even for bad cable movies.

It has helped me feel a great deal better.

So, then - if you haven’t decided that I’m a freak - visit again from time to time and I’ll tell you more of how I worship the goddess and how that worship helps me. I make no promises that she will help you, or even that she exists.

But if you wish to love life, you must commit to Love in some fashion. This is the path that I have chosen. Walk it with me if it helps you.

Lovingly yours,

A Devotee