It's not that way with all of them. Some of them are just you, you've worked hard enough, you know how to do this, you can just pound something out, you can really polish it up. Some of them are infused with the radiance of truth, and those are the ones that I think come from that unified field, from God, from what I think of as God. That doesn't mean I'm extra special, by the way. That means everyone has access to it.

 How do you describe yourself spiritually or religiously?  


I'm not uncomfortable with "religious." Some people are uncomfortable with what my idea of "religious" is. I'm already getting letters and biblical tracts from people telling me how to become a Christian and how to keep myself from going to hell. And I want to say, how can I go to a place that only exists in your mind?


But I consider myself religious in the best sense of the word. I like being in a state of surrendering my will to something greater than myself, whether that's in writing or when I go to Buddhist meditation, or when I go to Episcopal church, which I do both of, actually. I pray every single day, and meditate every single day. So my spiritual life is as important to me as my creative life. At some points, the two merge. Not always, but at some points, they do. Actually, they're very similar. They might even be the same thing, I'm not sure yet.

What kind of music do you find the most spiritual? 

Bruce Springsteen can be deeply spiritual to me. Lou Reed's record "Magic and Loss" is profoundly spiritual. Annie Lennox's song "Why" is profoundly spiritual to me. It doesn't have to have context for me to find it spiritual, it doesn't have to be framed and labeled as being of God or of the spirit for me to find it spiritual. That word "spiritual" just means that it resonates with the spirit. And that could be anything—that could be art, music, it could be my 7-year-old son's paintings of Bionicles, because it comes straight from his little soul, and he loves it. It's all communion with God, isn't it?


How do you describe your parents' religion and spirituality?  What legacies did they leave you?


Her parents' spiritual legacies
I tend to see some of it in terms of metaphor. My mother was a strict Catholic, and she was absolutely devoted to her faith as a Catholic. And although I don't have much respect for the Catholic church, I have tremendous respect for my mother. When I was in Paris a couple of months ago, I went to the Catholic church in Paris just to honor her, to connect with her. But the way I see it is that my mother gave me my sense of structure. The Catholic church is very structured, it's very rule-bound. It has particular formulas, and things that you have to do. So just the sense of that structure, I got. I didn't take the content of it, but the structure in itself was incredibly useful to me, and I've kept that.

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