Two of my sisters, including she of the Salt Lamp, went on a retreat to a convent in a resort town nearby. One of the two is a true believer - she once told me that she believed in revelation - and the other is Salt Lamp (Sally, for short.)

Returning from her retreat, Sally showed me some books she bought at the convent gift shop. (Yes, that is what I said.) She mentioned that some of them are books that she might use to give at christmas time, and she also mentioned that she was thinking of me a lot while there.

One of the books was an illustrated version of the 23rd psalm. She was telling me that she planned to bring this book to her new job as a (public) school nurse, in a high school. When I mentioned to her that she might get in a bit of trouble bringing that to a public school, she told me that she knew how these things worked, and that if she placed it tastefully, it should be alright. She said that it would be alright to leave in her room, because students often come in to lay down and that she could just leave it there for any students who "recognized" it to read.

The funny thing about it is that I don't think Sally has shown any particular religious inclinations in the 30 years since she, a catholic-raised girl, married a jewish guy. They didn't raise their children to be religious, although the boys did attend a "Friends" pre-school. Sally refused to have her sons baptized, so my mother surreptitiously baptized at least one of them in her kitchen sink, apparently inspired by Archie Bunker. My brother-in-law told me last week that he wasn't sure that he believed in god, either, although he does attend the high holidays with his nonegenarian father. My sister did not seem too pleased with that remark. I've not known her to attend church, except maybe for weddings and funerals, and the occassional christmas mass with the family over 20 years ago. Of course, she may have attended, but I rather doubt it. I think my atheism causes my sisters to escalate their own religiousness sometimes.

While I only hope that I get to hear about it when she gets told off about the illustrated psalm, I would hate for her to get in any real trouble.

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