Location: St. Vincent & Grenadines

You were driving home in the dark on one glass-slippered heel, window sliced open and bathing in the snowliquor of the night air. We heard you singing, and couldn't bear to wake you.

28 March 2006

Roosevelt dime in a bucket of rain.

Ever have one of those days?

I am experiencing near-total spiritual paralysis. I feel like a supermarket peach that has been prodded by a hundred thumbs and now hangs loosely in its skin, a bag of bruised juice going slowly brown. If the music of that last sentence makes my situation sound somehow lovely, well, that's how I keep my nose above water: finding music wherever I can. Finding the words. They're slow in coming today.

When I was adolescent, I made a conscious choice to resist faith. I saw how much of the sickness in this world comes about because of people who are certain that what they believe is true, and it seemed to me at the time that faith was another word for blindness. I did not want to believe in anything so wholeheartedly that I stopped considering alternatives. I did not want to be blind. I wanted to stay free. So I made a choice to keep doubting everything I felt, to always be willing to accept the possibility that I was wrong.

I knew this way of being came at a price. It does. Right now, for example, I am as low as I've been in years, and there is no rock of faith to cling to. It's really fucking hard. The hardest part of it is that blindness comes anyway, whether faith-based or shock-based. You reach your personal limit of pain and your body kicks in with the grace of the last ditch: stop feeling. It's temporary. You can't live in that place for long. But sometimes, that's the address on the door outside.

And then?

Oh, that's what is worth living for. I guess if there's any faith I'm prepared to accept, it's the obnoxious sacrament of patience. The rusty cliché of sunrise. It helps to be humble. Endure long enough and a new day will begin, and you'll have the wonderful, terrible opportunity to start all over again.

It's not the same. Never the same. Sometimes it's similar enough to fool you, but you're always a little different, no matter how long it takes. The whole thing is absurd, all these sandcastles, your proud little life. Do it anyway. Build new structures. Accept that you'll lose them with the next tide. Know that you'll forget every bit of wisdom you ever learned. Keep learning anyway. The residue will build with each cycle. Imperceptibly, you'll change. Over and over.

You find the words. You keep listening for music.


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