Posted by on Nov 23, 2010 in Blog | 0 comments

The theme for December’s issue of Stumptown Underground is “Religion & Spirituality.” Though I have spilled a fair amount of ink in my graphic novel so far regarding these topics (and will spill even more before it’s done), a lot of SNitLoE’s religious material is theoretical commentary told through allegorical characters. But for this little comic, I decided to do something unusual (for me) and write more in the Stumptown spirit of revelatory auto-bio. And if other zinesters and comic artists can write so frankly about their intimate experiences with family, sex, food, having sex with food, eating their families, etc., then I can certainly tell a little story about my own faith.

Hopefully that speaks for itself, but I feel I should add one thing: This comic is very unfair to St. Teresa of Avila, who was definitely experienced in painful doubt and “the long dark night of the soul” (an expression, incidentally, which comes from the title of a poem by another 16th-century Spaniard, St. John of the Cross.) Really, the whole “the past = faith; modernity = doubt” shtick is incredibly disingenuous on my part, as I know very well it’s not that simple at all. As usual, I think it’s Slavoj Zizek who sums it best in this short video:

I quoted Mother Teresa’s anxious letter, but I might just as well have quoted the earlier Teresa, who wrote:

“As to the aridity you are suffering from, it seems to me our Lord is treating you like someone He considers strong: He wants to test you and see if you love Him as much at times of aridity as when He sends you consolations. I think this is a very great favor for God to show you.”

Again with the aridity! The desert metaphors come fast and furious.