A question I get a lot is: am I Catholic? Understandable. My altered books and art journal work rely heavily on saints, angels, madonnas, rosaries, sacred hearts, and so on. But no, I am not Catholic, not even religious. I turn to saints because they they are my alter egos. For some people it is mermaids, for others fairies, and for a whole lot of people it seems to be vampires. For me, it’s the saints, the madder the better, the outrageous ones lost to time and myth.

If I have no well-defined religion, I do very much believe in the Divine, and contemplation of It runs through my work and writing. Look, there are up to 400 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy and there are more than 100 billion galaxies out there beyond ours. And the greatest minds in science can only identify 4% of what makes all of that up. The other 96% is shrouded in mystery called dark matter and dark energy but nobody knows what the heck it is. As in, 96% of all measurable reality is the Unknown.

Try to think about this. I do, every day, all the time, so is it any wonder that I need an alter ego with the bravado of a Winefride who picked up her decapitated head and carried it to the spot where she wanted an abbey built? The certainty of a Brendan the Voyager who got into a hide-covered boat the size of a VW beetle in the hopes of finding an uninhabited wilderness? The wildness of a Christina the Astonishing who at her funeral flew from her casket to the rafters of the church and shouted at her mourners. Or to be a Julian, flying from the altar rails if not held back?

Nothing less than this is needed to face Mystery; it is why saints and nuns and angels turn up over and over in my pages as the personification of resolution, curiosity, and devotion to the connection with Mystery at any cost. Including, especially, in not caring what others think, those others who would limit what is Infinite, to try control over the indescribable bigness of it all, the unknowable. The Unknown. And saints aren’t having it.