My top three religion-themed experiences on this trip:
- The deeply insufferable old woman sitting next to me on the flight over would not shut the fuck up aside from one blissful chunk of time in which she slept, but at one point she asked me whether I, as an unmarried, unemployed 30-year-old, had thought of becoming a nun, and I had some emotional whiplash as my mind vacillated between “I have a whole talk on the appeal of life in a religious order to Millennial women but this is not the audience for it” and “why yes, it did occur to me around late high school that I needed to consider the nun life when I realized I wasn’t like everyone else because I lacked a fundamental ability to desire or give the kind of affection required in a lasting relationship so I gotta do something to avoid dying alone, what a cool thing for me to be thinking of again right here in this here airplane!” (I eventually told her it had an appeal to me but I didn’t feel any calling from Gotd to do so and therefore it wouldn’t be the right choice. She liked this answer.)
- When I went into the big main church in Krakow, it was undergoing repairs and there were some guys up above the altar carefully cleaning and restoring the statues there and that was just a lovely peaceful process to watch, where can I get a job climbing around massive imposing churches and wipe down some old religious art, I ask.
- I stopped into another church and someone had left a carefully written out prayer on a slip of paper in one of the pews. I think there was one part that had some personalized ask but it was hard to make out because everyone in Poland learns the same exact handwriting and it’s not always easy to decipher, especially tight and cramped as this was. It felt like an intrusion enough to pick it up and read it so that’s for the best, but it was a nice feeling of “people are coming here with their particular wants and needs and backstories and everyone needs help with something and we’re all here together.” 🤷🏼♀️