The Epigenesis of my Fascination with Religious Accoutrements!


I do love quirky words. And technically I am using it incorrectly…but I am writing in my own journal so, ok, there it is. It really a biology word that means coming from the embryo and developing blah, blah, blah. I am using it to mean–This is when and where my fascination with religious accoutrements all started. Hence, the epigenesis of my fascination with religious accoutrements. I think that is fair enough and, in addition, I read it in a journal I used as a reference when I was writing my dissertation. So I am using it. Now to my recollection that I like a lot and just pieced together today while doing errands.

At the tender age of 10, I had a ‘best friend’ named Diana Gannon. She was the daughter of one of my Mom’s friends, Deanie, to be exact…and we lived in Scott AFB in Illinois…the year was–1956. We lived in base housing. I was, happily, an only child at the time…Before Billy! Here is my memory at work. Deanie was the the hostess with the mostesst, she had beeeeeeeeautiful French Provincial furniture. I believe it was the first time I knew that furniture came in styles. All of this is impressive but the biggest deal was Diana’s room. She had a room that was neat, neat, neat. The Gannon’s had a lovely home and it was all very tidy. Back to Diana. She was a devout little Catholic girl—a recent catechism graduate, and had her very own altar–in her BEDROOM. Believe me, I was so totally impressed. Think of it. Starched Fair Linen and little statues and holy cards.


I was smitten from the moment I laid eyes on that altar. I KNEW that this was the way to something very good…heaven, I guessed. So that did it. From that moment on I have been buying holy cards, rosaries, crucifixes, statues, candles, etc. I love, what I call ‘articles of faith’. Items that people focus their spiritual beliefs upon….poor grammar.

My suite mate from A&M, Tish, whom I refer to as a true, mega-Catholic, teased me about my love of holy cards. She used to say they aren’t trading cards, you know? I even get the Catholic Store Catalogs! I am not tied to Catholic items only. I am crazy for yads. A yad, Jewish for “hand” is a ritual pointer, used to pint to the text during the Torah Reading…..Because the Torah is sacred, fingers are not allowed to touch the parchment. Yads are very pretty and suitable for collecting if you are not irreverent about them. I saw one today here in New Orleans that appears to be carved-made of ivory, scrimshaw… I want it.201009091035.jpg


One Response to “The Epigenesis of my Fascination with Religious Accoutrements!”

  1. I have a yad that I purchased in Warsaw for Samuel. I wanted to keep it “safe” so I packed it my carry on luggage. Much to my dismay, my carry on was halted on the belt and opened so the two female Muslim screeners could inspect the object. Try explaining a Jewesh yad; that was so dear to me as it was for Samuel, to two inspectors who did not share my enthusiam for this “fine” yad. After several other screeners were summoned and I explained again and again the reason for me hand carrying the yad I was allowed to have it remain in my bag. Watch how you pack yads.

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