07 Nov Prayer Flags
In the 2021 census trial I fill in the questions about us, and the space we inhabit. I notice my irritation as my sense of identity – a complex and evolving spectrum of tendencies is reduced to ‘yes or no’, ‘this or that’ answers. I also hold in mind the fragments of the lives from my Victorian forebears in censuses that reveal fascinating family and societal changes. My great great grandfather Joseph Taylor was a ‘hatter’ in 1861 and by 1891 had become a ‘sanitary inspector’. The question about religion bothers me. Some of this household are Jedi. They regularly use the force to overcome the dark side. My faith is central to who I am, but it doesn’t easily fit a check box. I honour nature. I chant the Tara Mantra, offer thanks to my supportive guides and ancestors. I light Tibetan incense, venerate goddesses from several religions, as well as plastic figures. I connect with birds and animals, walk in nature as a spiritual practice. I am surrounded by sacred images to inspire and in the magnolia tree strings of fading prayer flags are blowing prayers into the wind. I ambivalently tick the ‘Buddhist’ box.