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As a schoolgirl, I wore my Catholic medals around my neck to protect me from the devil, sins and bad thoughts. Each was endowed with special powers. St. Anthony, for protection when traveling; St. Jude, for hopeless cases; and the Blessed Virgin covered all the rest. The crucifix reminded us of how Jesus died for our sins, and the nuns' rulers reminded us that we had been bad and needed to pay attention to those amulets, medals and pray a bit more.


That old devil was around every corner of every room tempting us to be naughty, as if being naughty was going to lose our place in heaven and send us directly to hell.


My body of work pokes fun at my old belief system, organized religion, and guilt. It examines a child's notions that did not understand symbolic language but took metaphor as fact. It consists of an artist book and one in broadside and the digital prints that are my own metaphors for the events of life.


 Therefore, the priest did not turn into Jesus like Superman was changed from Clark Kent, but merely, was the spiritual equivalent to Jesus when in the confessional; and as much as they told us what was said in the confessional was never to be told to another by the priest, mine was calling my mom for me not knowing my simple confessional prayer.


Still, Mom’s truisms hang in my mind as Lessons; and the nuns warnings do too. Our old nuns must have had dirty minds to dream up so many dos and don’ts that were sexual in nature. We would never have dreamed these up, if left to our own devices.


Barbara Houghton


barbara@barbarahoughtonphoto.com                                              all contents © barbara houghton 2022