April 30, 2006

I Am The Away

I believe one can judge a man’s fluctuating state of mind by the books in which he chooses to poach his brain. I for one often find my thoughts reeling like fishing line escaping from a spool then ebbing and flowing at a comfortable pace, after I have read two or three good books in a row, and in to an equal extent, I suppose the music one finds oneself engrossed in during this same period will also direct where one’s views will float.

Lately, I have been thinking. A lot. So much so that I have been weary to actually sit and write. Each night before I sleep, my brain is a lightning storm of activity, and I am certain that the prose and music, with which I have chosen to feed my head, are responsible.

The books:
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krauker, Naked and The Dead by Norman Mailer, Ironweed by William Kennedy, and Armies of the Night by Norman Mailer.

The music:
anything by Modest Mouse, Both Sides of a Gun by Ben Harper (the slow side), Johnny Cash, Calexico/ Iron and Wine

The thoughts:
Faith: who needs it? I asked a friend and she said, “I think we, as people, need something greater to believe in, to make sense of things we don’t understand. For me, it helps me know that I am not alone, that I have a purpose in life. At the basic level, faith teaches us to believe. I think we, as people, need something greater to believe in, to make sense of things we don’t understand.” She ended her reply by asking, “What do you believe in? Do you know why you are here on earth? How do you know that you are not just some tiny fleck of dust that will just blow away any moment? It has taken me some time, but I think I am ready to tackle that question, at least in part:

I believe that I am a tiny fleck of dust that will blow away. I am the wind that blows it away and I am the away. I don’t need something greater to believe in, I have my hands full believing in what I see everyday. I believe in a path and growth and no easy answers-in patience and learning-I am here on earth to simply enjoy every second that I am in this form-I don’t believe there needs to be a greater purpose. I don’t need to have meaning; I don’t need to believe I will go someplace better. What good is a heaven for beings that cannot simply be here on earth? I believe suffering is of our own making, and each being will find its own way out of pain through awareness. I believe in the power of music and art and in the inherent good. I believe that human beings are a mere insignificant part of a natural cycle on earth. I believe when we look for a purpose in life, we are as far away from it as can be possible. I believe in honesty, communication and courage when looking in a mirror. I believe in looking within before looking above. I believe in possibilities and dialogue. I believe in transformations and instability. I believe there should be things we don’t understand. I believe in plucking the apple and suffering the consequences. I believe in trusting both others and myself. I believe in rethinking everything I’ve been told and taught- in being kind to myself and demanding others to treat me with that same respect. I believe in the art of breathing. Taking deep inhalations. My church enters and exits my body with every breath. I am always there; only sometimes I sit and admire the view. I believe in never tolerating belligerence or anger. I believe in traveling to places I have always wanted to visit. I believe in reading, taking an acting class. I believe in never giving into fear and renouncing embarrassment. I don’t worry about results. I believe in learning and always asking questions. I believe that there are no answers and to mistrust those who claim there are. I believe in mystery, magic and the unknown. I believe in multiple realities, trances and altered states. I believe in simplicity and disattachment. I believe in extra terrestrials and conspiracy theories. I believe in punk rock, revolution and tattoos. I believe in making a fuss and the E minor chord. I believe in free love, free sex, and freedom. I believe in growing older, white hair and wisdom. I believe in saying I’m sorry. I believe in tolerance and diversity. I believe the world is made up of what we choose to see. I believe in a better way…

As you can see, I have been thinking a lot about this question of faith. I highly suggest anyone read Under The Banner of Heaven; it is a book about Mormonism in the US, and it is the book that got my mind working on all theses ideas. I guess my problem is not with faith but with religion. I did not want this post to turn into a list of reason why I disagree with or dislike organized religions. I didn’t want to litter the page with I don’t believes because there are many.

Well, I had some thoughts on the nature of war, loneliness, and the greatness of Modest Mouse, but those will have to wait.

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