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I went to church today.
To the Unitarian Universalist church, specifically.

It was...surreal, I guess is the word to use. Surreal.

Things were the same and different all at once. Hymns, but not the same hymns, and things that were not hymns, folk songs and Beethoven and chanting and four minute's meditation on the Schumann resonance. One of the hymns was about the earth as a ship and we as passengers, and was set to the tune I know as a Dead Jesus Sacrament Hymn. It made it easier to sing along. Crying while thinking about the last time I sat in a congregation and sang made it harder. There was a youth speaker and he spoke about a climate change lawsuit in Florida, and how to save the earth in small and large ways. The familiar and the utterly different, juxtaposed bizarrely.

I met a trans woman who was a former Mormon and now considers herself pagan at the newbie welcome group. She's working on getting a sub-meeting specifically for pagans started. Every time the newbie meeting's leader mentioned their sub-group for men she looked at me.

I put Aidan and "he/him" on my name tag and people used them with a smile.

They served coffee after the service.

Surreal. Surreal, surreal, surreal, surreal.

They lit a fire at the start of things, and put it out at the end. The newbie group lit a candle. It burned out before we were done, but nobody seemed to mind. Every time I've invented a fictional religion, it's involved fire. Alanists and She-Of-Flame and First Father of Dragons... I don't want superstition. I like that nobody minded the candle went out. But sometimes superstition creeps in all the same, and it feels like it could mean something, that I've always wanted flames on the altar, and here they are.

I borrowed a hymn book so I can better sing. I promised them I'd bring it back next week, so I have to go back. I'd go back even if I hadn't, I think.

It feels like I've found a church again.

This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1532891.html.