Porto’s Alma 7
I feel like I cannot hide my religiosity any longer. I am so scared to admit being religious. I think this is because religion is only associated with extremism nowadays. But I am in no way fanatic about religion, please belief that! I carry my religion deep inside my heart and I don’t like boasting about it. I hate it when people use their religion to present themselves as a better person or when they use it to do bad things. It seems that the mere mention of being Catholic moves people to blaming you for priests’ horrible crime of violation. Then I feel so disturbed, hurt and sad because my religion has caused so much damage which makes me wanting to keep it hidden. I heard that Muslims have a similar problem
that their religion is often associated with terrorism. This is so awful. But sometimes I am a bit jealous of religions that are instantly recognizable through women wearing a veil or a burka, for instance. I know it is ridiculous to be jealous as regards religion and it is definitely one of my weaknesses. But yet if people were to admit to feeling jealous, there would be more peace on earth. It is like when you are fighting with your brother or sister. Envy is deeply rooted in humanity and it mostly starts right after birth. Cowards that they are, people would never admit it. So I have this bad feeling when I see people truly living their religion, practicing it every day. It is this strong connection with tradition and this deep understanding of living one’s own religion that seems to be a miss in western Christianity. While it is not cool and unfashionable to be religious for the young, people between thirty and let’s say forty-five equally seem to construct their life without following religion. When I am entering a church, it seems like only old people are praying for …, yeah, for what? Wasn’t it their task to carry on a long tradition and belief in religion? Or are western people so steeped in luxury that they don’t have any need for religion? Is it merely destined for the poor? I hope not. I am not rich. And I believe in God. But isn’t it interesting that in western countries a lot of people suffer from psychological problems? I think that mental illness and living in luxury go hand in hand. They call my generation “Generation Y”, like “Generation Why” because substantially they have everything but yet they suffer from disorientation. When I look at you, Alma, drawn like a Madonna, and when I see your gloriole filled in with the blue of a divine sky, I feel hope again for my religion. Art in an urban space is searching for a deeper meaning in life and shows its desire for symbols. It compares to people affixing locks to bridge railings. They want to demonstrate their commitment to love and their desire to tell the world: I sense the world. And here you are, in the urbanity of this city’s hills, representing religion, proving that you believe in God and by being here, expressing: God is missing here, search for him.