Slow motion view from above

Posted: June 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


There are many reasons I’m never going to a religious person.

Giving my faith over to religion has always felt similarly to falling off a very steep cliff, and there’s a reason for that.  One, I could never get behind anyone else’s fixed definition of the universe. To this day, there is a part of me when watching any religious ceremony that will always ask “Is this really happening?” I find the ingenuity of other people’s faith at times completely breathtaking.   I’m like, actually very jealous of it. Jennifer Hudson attributes her vocal talent to her devout Baptist faith. A woman in West London called NPR last week and attributed it curing her parakeets. And I could attribute it to the improvement of my lymphoma. But before vaulting to that conclusion, I have to address how outrageously dishonest of me that would be. I know that there are a few people in my family who regret that I was not raised Christian. But I am almost as certain as I can be that I would have addressed my dishonest feelings toward a Judeo-Christian God sooner or later and had some sort of crisis about it that would finally tell me to get real.

I will still always believe in the protection of symbols and the strength and transference of prayer.

I used to think that age was entirely unimportant to the possession of a person’s spiritual knowledge. (Come to think of it, that was mostly related to dating.) Now I think it must be one of the only things that shape our enigmatic relationship to a spirit. Like any extended thesis or theme for a symphony, the contours of the argument FOR God can change and become something even more infinite, more detailed, even more beautifully absurd in its surrender to form and order…

I have had to dole out some heavily detailed advice lately, and it seemed to flow from me with a length and conviction I’d never known before. Sitting on the outskirts of a former life that I’m sure some would call chaotic, I get to gaze at the shore of retrospection, investigating the waves, telling you what I learned from the luxurious period of silence and dread. (LOL, that sentence)  These days, I’m finding the best and probably most practical advice you can give someone is to “clean [their] house.”

I have been in an argument with a friend of mine for months over the importance of domestic cleanliness. Listening to him explain how he lived in “clutter to invoke some inner cacophony” I stopped him and asked: “Your life lacks such chaos that you feel the need to invoke it?” He goes: “Well, I don’t know.”  And so I asked him, “Can you say  something right now with any certainty that you do know?” He said: “That I am about to giving you 2 hours and $50 to clean my apartment.” I told him that I may be Filipino, but no one in family has ever been a fucking maid. I watched him clean his apartment and he said that it actually reconnected him to his sense of perspective.  Which, at the same time, seemed like a bold thing to say.

Interesting that that the word perspective can be so unsatisfying. There needs to be a word that describes a person’s changing relationship to God, particularly how it connects him/her to their place in the natural world. Whatever the essence of that is, it seems to have already started its life as a gentle guru. Life does that. Cancer tends to do it even faster. And if you’re already naturally inclined to be judgmental (that is to say if you’re someone unfortunately like myself), you learn to deflect those judgments to the world instead of letting them rot in your heart and suffer in heatstroke like someone else’s dog. Someone’s been watching too many documentaries on Kurt Cobain. This is a hard thing to do fairly. And when so much can feel so seemingly out of control, I’ve found that it’s actually more important to have faith in something you can give yourself to 100% instead of relying on the rigid condition of other people’s beliefs. I understand that if we all took responsibility for our relationship to God that the planet would probably become insurmountable in its chaos. But I think that ones that can do it should. Even if it’s a delicate and personal relationship we don’t take to shouting in the streets.

I want a cantaloupe.


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