By TARA SANDLIN
The Body and the Blood have been different recently.
Body that became Bread becomes Birthday Cake becomes Cereal becomes Brownies.
Blood that became Wine becomes Green Tea becomes Milk becomes Diluted Sertraline Concentrate.
But it’s not the first time.
Was the Nile turned to Blood? Was Water turned to Wine? Did Water and Blood gush from Christ’s side? Is God not called Living Water?
Everything that is, is everything that is.
How did Bread and Wine come to represent Christ anyhow? Well, it says so in a Book, but why is that what the people in the story ate and drank?
Maybe because it was there. Maybe because the everyday is holy. Maybe it always has been.
Maybe my pantry Eucharist isn’t sacrilege. Maybe it’s the living and active Word.
Strawberry margarita birthday cake with whipped cream lime icing reminds me of what it means to be born, to be born again, to be born each day, to be life. The salt on the Triscuit reminds me to be the salt of the Earth. Honeycomb cereal recalls creation, pollinators, the world that bears the image of Divinity. Stale brownies exemplify God the Rock.
Pondering Green Tea reminds me that I am drinking leaf juice, that this beverage is inherently communal, there is a union here, just like the union between Divine and Human that we all have the ability to access within us. Milk stirs up memories of Bible passages about Mothering God and her nursing. The water in which I’ve stirred my medication makes me ponder that good ole fourth grade concept of the water cycle, the idea that all the water on the earth is all the water that’s ever been, and this connects me to faith stories of baptisms and flooding and parted seas because I just drank that very same water. And the drug itself… Well, it’s a reminder that I’m diagnosed with PTSD, sure, but thinking about that diagnosis makes me think of haunting echoes, and I have appreciation for the haunting echoes of inspiration that I find throughout that Holy Book whenever it’s not driving me bonkers.
It’s almost like the whole Christ thing, the entire Movement of Rebirth, is all about pulling away from tradition and finding holiness in everyday acts of nourishment.
Maybe it makes me a heretic.
But I don’t mind.
Because even though it sometimes felt like hell, my 9:59 dash through the kitchen for some Elements brought me closer to heaven. Or, no, scratch that, it helped me see that heaven was always there. In my fridge and cabinets.
And in the depths of absence,
I found Real Presence.
Tara Sandlin is a junior classical voice performance major with a minor in music history and cultures. A passionate and compassionate storyteller with an unquenchable thirst to create, she thrives on creating catharsis, connection, and care through innovations in fine arts, spiritual engagement, and community building.