As a child, I remember being intrigued by religion, mostly because it made little sense to me. I remember watching a TV drama in the eighties called Brides of Christ, set in a Sydney Catholic girl’s boarding school in the 1960’s. A very young Naomi Watts was one of the stars. To be honest, the show, as great as it was, left me wondering why so many people followed the church. I was a child in the eighties watching life in the sixties and it simply didn’t make sense. I remember asking my parents if the church had changed. Surely because things were so different in the eighties, the church had to have moved with the times? I was wrong. When I looked into it and as I read more, my opinion of religion sunk to an all-time low. From that time on, I was an Atheist.
Except I wasn’t. I discovered Shirley MacLaine autobiographies (there’s so many of them, I think I gave up after the first half dozen) and then reincarnation began to make sense. Suddenly, the thought of having a higher sense of self-consciousness wasn’t such a daft idea. Why did I have an inkling not to cross the road against the lights just before a car sped through? Why was it that the very first wave that crashed over the rocks after I stepped to the safety of higher ground, was gigantic and would have killed me? Coincidence? Probably, but even now, I like the idea that something bigger than me, and something inside me, is perhaps guiding me. God? A higher self, or just sheer, damn luck?
So, why are we talking about religion? Well mostly it’s because my third book will be released mid-January. The Fifth Gospel has nothing, yet everything, to do with religion. Is it a love story? Of course. But I hope it also delivers the simple message that love is love. I know it’s a well touted mantra, and I know I’m preaching to the converted (pun intended) but sometimes it is just as simple as it sounds.
Recently, I attempted to explain to a friend about gender, sexuality, and how for some people, their brain identifies as the opposite to the body they were born into. She understood, sort of, but in the end I just shrugged and asked her if it really mattered who people loved, as long as they loved and felt love in return. Ironically, that was the bit she understood perfectly. And while my book touches on another matter that some might find shocking or offensive, please read with an open mind. The message remains the same and always will: Love is love, love for many is fluid, and our sexuality doesn’t define us, inhibit us, or make us any less valuable as a person.
Love does none of those things. Humans do. Some devalue less conventional love in an attempt to add value to more conventional love. But why? We spend our entire lives seeking fulfilment in love. Why devalue it? Let’s celebrate it in all its forms.