April 27, 2009


So nonchalant about blogging have I become that Blaugustine's sixth birthday nearly passed by without cake, candle or any celebration whatsoever. I wish I could develop the same amnesia about my own real-life birthday looming only four months away. But I must be kind to my better half, my cartoon self.

Actually, Augustine is older than this blog: she was born in 1984 which makes, not possible......25 years old?? She first appeared as a comic strip, The Augustine Adventures where she cavorted for about four years and then went into hiding. Sorry, that's a lie.

The truth is that I, Natalie, the ego of which Augustine is the alternative, pushed her out of sight, filed her away because I was miffed at not finding a publisher willing to bring her out of obscurity into celebrity. She was lavishly praised but rejected as 'not commercial enough' and so, in typical miffed ego fashion, I removed her from sight. Do I regret such miffed ego behaviour? Oui, je regrette tout.

Augustine, forgive me!
I apologise for repressing your irrepressibility.
For failing to consult you.
For excluding you from my rants and ruminations.
For naming this blog after you and then dominating it.
Where the hell are you, Augustine?


April 10, 2009 


Where do I stand in the religion debate? It's easier to say where I don't stand.

Not in the Church of Atheism led by fundamentalist preacher Dawkins and fellow missionaries. Nor in the Church of Self-Idolatry frequented by insecure over and under achievers. Nor in the patchouli-scented New Age Temple of Anything Goes. Nor with the EveryWordWrittenHereIsTrue scripture-shouting Bible-thumpers. Nor with the spiritual-but-not-religious consumers and purveyors of magical recipes for getting everything you want. Nor with the guitar-strumming popsterising church huggy-muggers. Nor with the unbending Orthodoxydon't-ists. Nor with the mockers and takers of the Name in vain. Nor with the counters of angels on pinheads or eggheads.  I could go on. But where do I stand?

If you've seen my God Interviews you've guessed that I'm a believer. But what does this mean, believer? Do I worship a balding cartoon character wearing a white t-shirt stamped "God"? Do I use humour to avoid the whole tricky issue? Maybe. I know that I believe in God and I know that this belief is not wishful thinking. I don't know why I know this. For me, 'Bible' and 'God' are not synonymous. Maybe 'religion' and 'God' are not synonymous either. I don't know whether the God I believe in features in the Bible or the Koran or the Torah or any other sacred book but none of them can either strengthen or weaken my belief. The faith I have seems not to depend on any of those traditions, including the fringe ones, which claim to have the last word on Divinity.

To celebrate this weekend, here is something I see as wholly holy inspiration. I had never heard of Donald Pass and luckily found him via a Google search for 'resurrection'.

Donald Bass at work

I am very impressed by his work and have no doubt he did experience what he relates here and in this video. You can see Blake and El Greco as influences but I think it may be that they shared similar mystical experiences rather than artistic styles. More paintings by Pass are here.

Donald Pass "Gabriel" watercolourpainting