This essay was written as part of a Faith and Politics course I took with Dr Julie Rubio at Saint Louis University in 2016. It was shortly after the 2016 Presidential election and I was struggling to feel hopeful for the future and trust in God in the midst of everything going on in my country.
My reflection felt pertinent to how I am feeling after the murder of George Floyd and the protests going on throughout the United States. I needed to reread my own words and the words of countless theologians and saints cited throughout. It helped me process and grieve all over again. I hope it brings you a sense of understanding, of hope and of peace. If you are reading this, I am here for you and I am always available to talk and share stories. Now we must continue to do the work.
A letter to the grieving bodies in the United States
This painting was featured in the Corona Portrait Project! Check it out at https://www.coronaportrait.com/prasad
I am honored to be a part of this project and share their beautiful mission.
From the Creator:
For tens of thousands of artists around the world, in a matter of weeks the novel coronavirus has caused the loss of exhibitions, projects, side gigs, and left much uncertainty behind. Many of us have also lost freedom of movement. As we sit isolated at home and consider our fears and hopes for the future, this project is a challenge to confront ourselves by creating a self-portrait.
I salvaged an old blog- one I created in my parents attic during my freshman year of college. Talk about a blast from the past.. I could have started fresh but I kind of like the history behind it. It's funny to read how much I have changed- in good ways and uh, not so great ones. I feel like I could learn a lot from 19 year old me.
So here we are, starting a new adventure, yet back in my parents house. It is funny how patterns in our life have a way of reminding us where and who we have been. I feel extremely grateful to have been able to come home and quarantine at with my family. However, being a 25 year old with no job living in your parents home is not exactly the biggest boost of confidence. What it did give me, though, is time. Time to relax, reset, and take a big huge look at my life. Time to create again. Time to help my parents dig through the piles of boxes in my basement.
We found piles of old CDs, too many boxes of beanie babies, and stacks of my childhood artwork. It reminded me how much I used to love creating just for the sake of it before it became about getting a good grade or posting it on social media. So I decided to start again. I decided to try and find that desire to create just for the heck of it. And you know what's funny? Once I got past just -beginning- I suddenly had idea after idea. I had so many that it felt like my head might explode before I was able to write them all down.
After a month of creating, I decided I was ready to share again. I realized there was no point allowing canvases to continue to pile up in my parent's basement without ever being shared. Thus, a website was born. Maybe this will be the last time I ever write on this blog. Maybe I will update it weekly. Maybe 30 year old Erica will read this and it will remind her of something she had forgotten. Nevertheless, here we are. A new website spurred by an old box.
A lot of people start blogs when they go abroad. I didn't want to blog simply because I was abroad, but the fact of the matter is, is that being here opens your eyes to new things- many things worth writing about. The experience of studying abroad impacts everyone differently, and depending on the environment you enter into, you will be changed in different ways.
I have been in London studying at Regent's University for about a month now. Coming from a Catholic, Jesuit institution, where I feel connected and loved by my community, to a new private, international school was a large adjustment. I walked in, feeling like a freshman all over again, with no close friends, no involvement, and no history.
This is a little bit more personal, and a lot longer of a post. I just had my last Theology 449 class, a seminar on Saint Augustine. About midway through the semester we were asked to right a paper based on the Confessions by Saint Augustine. The prompt was:
"Reflect on some moment of your life and illuminate it in a typically Augustinian “style”—contextualize your chosen moment in terms of your life’s story, in the context of a prayer with some theological lesson and challenge that seems to accompany every one of Augustine’s scenes in the Confessions. In such a paper, what is important is not the “rawness” of your confession (don’t try to shock your reader), but the theological depth and profundity with which you meditate an on otherwise mundane moment of your own narrative."
So I decided to share my reflection, in the hope that this experience and writing will help others deal with the pain and suffering they experience as well as help us realize that we are all on this journey, in joy and in consolation, together. The struggle is one.
So, it has been a month since my last (and only) post.
Wait, what? A month?
I swear life flies by. It's crazy. They say life is short, yet it is the longest thing humans will ever know on Earth. Kind of a weird concept if you think about it.
Resolutions and Life
My first post. wow. okay, I never pinned myself as being the blogging type but here goes nothing..
beginnings. Everything starts somewhere right? Whether it be something as small me sitting in my attic writing my first blog post, trying to convince yourself to work out or start a new life plan, the first cries of life in a hospital room as a new baby is born or the start of a life long relationship on your wedding day, everything has a beginning