The Second Side

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When you stop believing in coincidence, paranoia is only a heartbeat away.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Midnight Rider

Okay, so it isn’t midnight, but it always seems late when everyone else is in bed.

We had an Easter egg hunt for my girls this weekend at my parents’ house. While watching them blaze through the yard, piling eggs into their baskets, I had one of those moments where I say to myself, “Wow. Look at how frigging smart they are.”

My girls are 2 now, and there is something about their rapidly expanding knowledge that frightens me just a little. It is Easter, after all, and in my younger days, when I was a devout Christian, Easter meant a lot of things. I see that Christians are now calling it “Resurrection Sunday” to counter the holiday’s commerciality. I don’t have a problem with that, but it’s a blunt reminder, isn’t it? To those of us who used to believe with all our hearts that He was up there, watching over everything? I remember the year I realized I just couldn’t believe anymore. I remember the next few years I spent believing in nothing, only to realize that I was on the fool’s path. Now I’m on a personal quest for spiritual fulfillment, which means that I go day to day with a lot of questions unanswered.

But not for long. We come back to those two little girls. They more they talk, they more they’ll want to know. They’ll force me to learn things about which I’m ignorant. They’ll force me to confront feelings and beliefs I might want to deny.

Well, I can’t get ahead of myself. There’s no time for that. I’m 35 years old. I’m starting to go to the doctor for problems they say are “age related.” I have a list of things to ask the doctor about, including a twitch in my right eye that is constant now. I heard a quote once, “at my age I’m prepared to take a few things on faith.” And now, standing between lost faith of the past and unanswered questions of the future, that’s going to have to do.

Hmm, now it is almost midnight and I’ve been rambling (now I owe the Allman Brothers two apologies).

Good night.

7 Comments:

Blogger O said...

I remember the year I realized I just couldn’t believe anymore. I remember the next few years I spent believing in nothing, only to realize that I was on the fool’s path. Now I’m on a personal quest for spiritual fulfillment, which means that I go day to day with a lot of questions unanswered.

Well, you are not the only one awake.

This post moved me deeply...I was raised Catholic and faith was a passionate part of my life. It is very difficult to surrender the tempatations of a dogma, a list of easy answers, a guidebook.
But I also think it's important to do so.
Frightening, yes--but also exhilarating, the quest for meaning in the random world.

A lot of it means learning to live with uncertainty, but the process of asking questions is in itself inherently valuable and meaningful, and I think, the most important activity in which human beings can engage.

Love
O

1:20 AM  
Blogger Bud said...

Jimmy, just take real good care of yourself NOW and you'll be 35 for a long long time. The time you used to waste in church? Spend it in the gym.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

O: Thanks, O. You're quite right that there is exhilaration to be found in the unknown. I take quite a bit of comfort in it, actually. It's hard to let go of the things that made life so structured and took away questions. I think if religion makes a person's life better, more power to 'em. For me, it just became a needless complication. But with that uncertainty comes a greater sense of free will. I love that. ;)

Bud: I couldn't agree more. My body is no longer the self-sustaining organism it was when I was younger. Now, it demands constant upkeep and attention, and quality of life is so important as we age. By the way, how did you know I need to get to the gym?? Ha.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Fletcher said...

You must follow the Church of Fletcher! Obey the Fist! Obeeeeeyyy me! (Invader Zim).

I've reached a point where I'm no longer sure of what may be out there, so I try to be sure of what's in me. That takes up enough time.

I'd had some of those very conversations with my 11 year old daughter (before the break-up). I tried to be very honest and non-judgemental when we spoke. She is very intelligent and I found myself prefacing with "Some people believe[...]" and "But I believe [...]" and "You will have to make your own decision on how you believe, but remember that we can always talk about it."

My left eye is twitching. My BP is up. I'm back on drugs and am trying to remove caffeine from my diet. Plus get some excercise. Also reduce my portion size.

Hardware maintenance.

Oh, and wake up every morning and say "It's going to be a great day"

Software maintenance.
&

2:06 PM  
Anonymous wapiti said...

I'm with ya, Jimmy... just had my eyes checked and the Dr. politely informed me that I now need bifocals (EEK, at 35!) Sigh.

1:30 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

Open minds are the best kind.

I remember being young and thinking my father knew everything, but what my parents installed in me the most was to question everything. A healthy amount of cynicism I suppose. Beliefs are strange things indeed.

Church of Fletcher!!!

10:09 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

Fletcher: Well, together we have a perfect set of twitching eyes. The chicks'll love us. . . . Obey the Fist???

Wapiti: I afraid I will soon need bifocals myself. It's hell to get old, but at least we'll be able to do it together (grow old, I mean, pervert).

Stephanie: Another convert to the Church of Fletcher's Fist? Are you sure you know what you're getting into?

9:55 PM  

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