It seems that Inspiration comes at the strangest of times and the strangest of places if you look at it right. When one is least expecting it, the 'spirit' comes through. To my thinking it is always there and at times we are just more receptive to letting it in. It is an emotional 'thing' and hard to describe or to visualize.

The previous photo seems to describe how I can feel the spirit entering me. Although I often wonder if all of a sudden it does arrive or if it is just always there, and I connect with it or allow it to surface.

To me it is quite simple how the spirit works. It is just there. All we have to do is recognize it. After all it is a core part of us. It also seems that we make it difficult by growing up with religious pressures that force us to think in certain ways that are in accord with how the church feels we should get the 'stuff'.

I feel that the church wants us to believe that there is a mystery of what it is. Their unknowing and unwillingness to expand and preach the development of personal religious beliefs is why some religions keep such tight reigns on how they feel we should understand the creator and the spirit. All, of course, are one and the same just as we are with God. (Remember, God spelled backwards is doG).

I also feel that developing a personal religion is the way to go. Each of us is different, but we all share essentially the same common soul with the creator. We are, after all, part of that, i.e. part of the creator. So given our freedom of choice, why not choose personal worship. I go to 'church' every day. I'm alive and living in the Garden of Eden. Try looking through those filters for a day and see what you see. Look for the beauty that moves in all things. It is there if you recognize it.

Post Papa

The Papa is gone, Dylan is back in the states looking and singing in his usual funny way. Here the aftermath is quite interesting. I still spend a little part of each day in Piazza Maggiore walking, sitting and watching and photographing. I have been intrigued by the litter; the melted wax all over the Piazza from the candle light service, and the 'buy' products of the event. I call it Papal Trash.

But still I must have an open attitude about the power of the person and the organization. I am quite sure that many will remember this week forever, as I will. It had an effect on me. It actually made me feel kind of sad for the man. He is old and shaky. He is a person very close to the spirit. The closeness is obvious, but also the closeness is by way of death. He is ready and I feel wanting to let go and relax with the other retired Papas.

Part of the aftermath that I have been imaging is some of the outward signs of dislike of the church and what it stands for. Especially because he had musical guests like Dylan performing at his concert. I saw on TV that the Papa attended his concert. They showed Dylan playing 'Knockin on Heaven's Door' and the Papa was sitting there looking tired and bored.

I was told that for the Papa to come to Bologna, a stronghold for the communist party in Italy (the strongest in the country I am told) is an outward sign of how the two parties (God & The Reds) are coming to accept each other, or at least tolerate each other.

I am still trying to get a grasp on what communism means in this country. As an American, my idea of communism is Hitler at the height (or depths) of his activity. But I am beginning to understand that it is the labors' party. It is more centered around keeping things in control, or that it is acting in favor of the laborers, not the wealthy. The communists make up, as I understand, about ten percent of the votes. They sort of keep a necessary balance to the voting. (more on this later as I learn more).

A young priest came up to me and started talking to me and gave me a leaflet about becoming a more solemn catholic. After receiving the word, and the pamphlet (then telling him: "mi no parlo italino") I asked if I could make a photograph of him. At that moment his brother came up and offered him a styrofoam lunch. I then asked if I could photograph both of them and he realized that it would be improper to photograph a representative of God with his styrofoam lunch in hand. (even though he had a MVNY Lab hat on)(private joke)

Our lives are full of decisions to make. When we choose to make them is a mystery to us. Just as a family tree or a road map, once we get to our destination if we look back over our path it all seems to make more, and simple sense. Regardless if it was the correct decision or not. We made it at that time and now we have to live with the consequences.