Tag Archives: fadel haowat-halliwell

f2fb #83 and the gift he received from his first wife’s mother

my regular religious service consists of reading facebook friend mike coglan’s emailed sermons (today’s was about the 1962 world series), barging into catholic churches to light candles for my boys, and begging the Lord’s foriveness for everything when i’m having an anxiety attack or when the plane is taxiing down the runway. i think of myself as a seeker but i haven’t put enough concerted effort into it. f2fb #83 larry barkley has always struck me as having followed a path of his own design.

larry and i were first introduced through his second wife suzanne who was a rotarian. after they broke up and suzanne moved to colorado, i didn’t see as much of larry. but whenever i do, he has a good smile and kind words. he’s either got peace of mind or really great drugs!

he was raised catholic, flirted with baptists, and was introduced to the principles of the unity church by the mother of his first wife. usually, mother in law’s aren’t noted for the joy they bring into a man’s life. but larry was open to the gift. and he is now a member of the unity church. i was supposed to go to a sunday service with him and with f2fb #66 fadel haowat-halliwell who has also been a seeker. we were going to meet at the church at 9:15.

i was getting some caffeine at caribou when i saw f2fb #28 tom evans and i invited him to join us. tom is ordinarily a congregationalist but something today urged him to accept adventure. we drove downtown to the unity church at 1925 west thorne avenue. larry and tom had seen each other in winnetka but had never been introduced:

in a room off the main sanctuary was an exhibit of pictures of hearts created by the artist arianne vota smeets. the exhibit, called aorta transformata, was deeply moving. i saw three pictures that i think were directly about me.

i have had my heart broken but i am no different from anyone else in that respect.

i am often scared but i am no different from anyone else.

my heart is under construction. i think everyone else is like that too.

it has been said that sunday morning is the most segregated time in america–and that’s supposed to be a comment about how congregations are often of the same race, the same orientation. but this church was clearly welcoming to all races, genders, orientations. and the service was one of joy and love.

one time my facebook friend mike coglan asked me to imagine how i would feel, how i would think, how i would be different, if i truly believed that God loved me exactly as i am, even with every fault and weakness considered charming or essential or forgivable. i could only sustain that feeling for a few seconds before crying. and that’s how i felt in this church.

afterwards i found out that the heart pictures are for sale and can be purchased–go to votasmeets.com to see more of them. also, if you want more information on the church, go to their website at UnityChicago.org and they believe they are a church of light, love and laughter.

larry has found a special place to worship. his fiancee ramona is part of the congregation as well and i hope that i will be invited to the friday night services which sound like the services of the nineteenth century shakers.

larry, thank you friend for sharing this part of you with me! and sorry, fadel. i turned my cell phone on after i entered the church and forgot to turn it back on until i got home!

the origin of the world and other paintings. . ..

i think this project would make a beautiful movable museum exhibit, with each facebook friend celebrated and presented in their incredible unique way. fadel haowat-halliwell, f2fb #66 already has his materials ready. from the outside, he looks like the perfectly average chicago twentysomething: he works at a lincoln park coffee shop, he just switched his major from chemistry to math, he lives with his parents and sister and pet parrot, and he carries his life in his backpack.

but fadel is also a seeker. of faith. of love. of love and sexual fulfillment together in one special person. he is an artist and a feminist in a way that i have never experienced a man to be.

yesterday he showed me a series of pictures that i think must be seen by the world. i must find a curator for him.

at first i thought the picture above was a watermelon, but it is not. it is a picture of the source of life. it reminds me of “the origin of the world” by gustave courbet. fadel calls the picture “fertility”.

the second picture he showed me is called “the economy” and you have to look closely to realize it’s really about how the world makes money off of women and enslaves women. the skycrapers are decidedly male, with penises at their core. the only escape, within his vision, is a pirate ship.

the last in his series on women is religion. fadel was raised greek orthodox and briefly committed himself to being a muslim. but he has yet to find the true peace of faith fulfilled. in this picture, he emphasizes how religion has trod on women but he makes a larger point about the dynamics of different religions. you can’t see it but this is an artist who does not complete his work at the end of the canvas–instead the painting continues around the canvas. it’s really remarkable and a picture does it scarce justice.

i was startled that he had prepared for me a portrait. this is me having coffee with a vagina at the artopolis coffee shop. it is now on my living room mantle directly under a portrait of queen victoria.

fadel is a seeker and so am i. we’ve made plans to visit a few services together and to continue the discussion of faith and what’s important. i also hope one day to see his paintings in a museum. perhaps the museum of sex in new york.

next up: i meet a real hero, facebook friend jeffrey weber