Monday, February 13, 2006

the endless tide

***warning - this is a red flag post - which means i'm afraid it's going to offend. which isn't my intent. but read at your own risk***

there are so many words inside of me that if i don't spill them on to paper, i really will go mad. i don't write enough anymore, so when i sit down to write, the words get jammed up in my brain. there are so many that they all try to come spilling out onto the paper at one time. the result is that they all get stuck in the doorway - and nobody gets out. and i try to write, and i stop - afraid that i'm going to sound stupid or illiterate - or the worst - not be able to articulate what's going on inside of my head.

i don't even know where to start. with death and dying? with the demise of rational, free, intellectual thought? i can't even begin to pick a place. so i'll start with my uncle's death. today was the viewing. i was in a room with many close family and friends. people i had known my whole life. and aunt rita, buster's wife of 50 years. and i was standing there, and all i could think was - what is the feeling of loving someone all your life - and then they are gone? forever unretrievable to you? i ached with sadness to think that jim would ever be away from me. i couldn't - and can't - imagine what aunt rita is feeling. the person that has been there - who knew her probably as intimately as she knew herself - is gone into that silent land. from which there is no return. i think i would be empty, so totally empty in my loneliness without jim. i can't imagine being at home, thinking of something i wanted to tell jim, and realizing afresh that he wasn't there - and that he never would be again. the feeling that wells up inside of me at the thought is utter void of being. a sense of loss so profound that it makes my chest tight and my breath come up short.

we stand against it as long as we can, but there is always inevitably a break in the ranks. and one by one, we (all) fall. some after long, long lives, and some gone from us too soon. my heart hurts all the time now it seems like. and it's not just because of the loss of crosby and seeing my family suffer. it hurts because i've lost that which i had up until recently - the freedom from the burden of sorrow. and now it will be with me always - instead of lessening, it will only grow deeper and more profound, as one by one - the people i love and cherish - pass out of my sight. i know that i want to go before jim; i don't think i can bear his loss. even if it meant going before i'd fully lived a life, i would still want to go first. what makes this harder is that it's nothing - our lives, our sorrows - they are tiny drops of sadness in a vast ocean of time. our sorrow is minor, unimportant. the world goes on. life goes on. crosby and uncle buster won't go on, but i will. for however long i am allotted on this earth. and then i'll go - and eventually, there will be nothing here. no one to remember us - my family - the things we taught each other, the love that held us together. i look around at all the sorrow and emptiness in the world - all the bad things that people do to themselves and the people they love. and i can't fathom why anyone would inflict more hurt on anyone else. the world is already hard and cruel, full of sharp edges. people fall into darkness every day, gone forever - isn't that enough? isn't it enough to watch everything and everyone you love die - without adding to it the pettiness and sadness of everyday life?

if god is real, is there any separation between him and us? christians say yes - that sin stands between us and god. but if we are from god, and in his image, aren't we OF god too? would a baby that died go to heaven or hell? wouldn't god have seen the possibilities of a baby's life? known what choices he would make? assign him a place based on the future decisions he would have made, had he lived a long life? and if that was true, then isn't that baby of god? and if so, then wasn't that baby god - in some form - and now he returns to that from whence he came? because if god could see the future decisions, despite the fact that that baby never lived a full life, then was that child even real, or just a part of god? and if that's true, then are we all just pieces of god? scattered on this earth? how can that make any sense? how can we exist so separately from god but be created by god, in his image? how could god have made us - imperfect? evil? sinners? - if god is perfect and god is love - then how could anything so evil as humans spring from him?

nothing i ask or say or write is anything new. i realize this. there is nothing new under the sun. i'm not even coming up with particularly interesting ways to say these things. but i can't help this flood of questions - because i know that if i did become a christian - i would have to accept that there are no answers to these questions. at least, none that i will ever know. and i can't accept that. and i can't accept a god who would create man "in his image", condemn us to hell for sins passed down from the first humans, and then only redeem us at the hands of a blood sacrifice. the blood sacrifice of his son. a man. or a human manifestation of the divine or whatever jesus was supposed to represent. i want nothing to do with a god that would damn us to hell because we chose the wrong religion - the wrong path. i would never choose a god who sees no difference between a child molester and a person that chose to live a secular but good life. but then again, maybe hell isn't the place of fire and brimstone that i always pictured it as. maybe hell is right here on earth, in watching all that we love wither and pass away. maybe hell is the separation from void. because in the void, we are nothing, we are weightless, we do not exist - and there is no joy. and there is no sorrow. there is nothing. the absence is god itself, the very fabric of void.

i guess it sounds like i am angry. and in some ways, i am angry. i get the same implacable faith every place i turn, but no one can answer my questions, no one can even help me see a path. because there is no path. we're all lost in the woods. some of us are lost together and some of us are lost and alone. but we're all lost.

i feel sad and lost, too.

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