not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Monday, March 18, 2013

question

 

we are driving along the splendid green tonsilled corridor of the north:
trembling aspen, poplar, tamarack, rock, muskeg and jack pine,
when my daughter asks a question, do you believe in god,
and i look around the walls of the earth's corridor and wonder
and i look around the walls of the corridor of my mind and wonder
and i look at my body, my bare arms extended and steering
and those resolute white birch, black spruce and the punctuating crow flying over
and i wonder, did my daughter ask a question;
are there questions here; answers;
and what are these trees doing in my mind
and where does the crow go as he passes over
and how do words hang like bats in caves with such light?

10 comments:

  1. And if you do, is god in the darkness with the bats as much as in the light? One imagines the developing brain-mind of a young one, and what resides there in that darkness as light begins to shine in. The photograph is a splendid enactment of these questions.

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    1. ruth, all i can ever say is what i think. that is all anyone can ever say. if they think they are doing otherwise then they have developed such a fine argument, a firm and cohesive set of truths springing from the one side of the equation they wish to support.

      i think god resides equally in the light and darkness. but i feel as though i fluctuate through a tube in saying this. it is a chicken and egg situation. what i deem is god (can you imagine i have such power to deem anything!) undoes the precise christian god i knew in my youth, or knew of, and formulates the definition of god from the other end of the tube, which is really only another way of saying we are all connected and that all the fabric of the universe (us included) makes up what we know as god. and so i wonder if i am saying anything at all or just being cheeky or careful, satisfying my own set of cohesive truths.

      i am only thankful that my daughter asks me such questions for when she asks me she is really asking herself.

      xo
      erin

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  2. I come back. :-) I feel quite contrary to what I wrote here, because I usually think of the just-born infant as the brightest light, and the remainder of life can be an undoing (into darkness away from light?) if awareness does not set in. But I meant "light of knowledge" or some such silly notion.

    However, there are truly interesting studies about the teenage brain, and how (for real) they don't think in the frontal cortex as they will when they reach full adulthood. Fascinating.

    (Sorry to go off on such physiologies ...)

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    1. i think these scientific discussions are every bit as relevant (and shouldn't they be?) as the spiritual ones. if not then we are really being deceitful. but i don't know anything about physiology and so can't contribute in a meaningful way:(

      i am careful though about how we view infancy and childhood with such pristine nostalgia. i'm not sure we are right to do so but again, i don't know. i only hesitate.

      but it seems to comes back to the same thing over and over again, how every skill or mechanism or symbol we develop to see/to comprehend, enacts a greater distance between us and that which we yearn to see/to comprehend. that is, i think, that which must be torn down daily in our living and perceiving so that we touch closer to the truth.

      xo
      erin

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  3. It´s a interesting question.
    Those thoughts you write contain a great truth or a big unknown. It's funny because my son asked me the same thing a while ago.
    He will choose his own way.
    Hugs Erin
    W.

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    1. yes, they will always choose their own way. but what do you think or believe, white, and how have you managed to arrive at such decisions? and do you think your beliefs might change?

      (and what does your son believe? i see in my daughter it is so much easier to not believe, to resist or refute certain ideas than it is to decide what it is that she actually believes.)

      xo
      erin

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  4. We want to give the full truth in our answers, don't we, even if the full truth can't be gathered in one lifetime. Sometimes we ask questions of the world, right in our living room, and don't expect an answer. In fact, most questions teens ask are not to hear an answer, but to express their interests, at that moment. It's a good thing when they talk. Period.

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    1. rosaria, yes, again, it is my daughter trying to determine what it is to be her in the world. how i wish there was some way to loosen the distracting view that she must know every step of the way who she is. i would like for her to realize very early that this is a process and that no one is a finished product, but it is her own journey to have, even this bit of discovery.

      how many young people have you observed in your lifetime going through this, you yourself still in the thick of it!

      xo
      erin

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  5. When I was young, I knew God....knew he existed, though I was much too young to have such knowledge and it was not taught to me by my parents. But I would write love notes to Jesus in crayon. Sometimes I think life undoes what we inherently trust and know. Then we rebuild our frame from the answers to many questions :)

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    1. annie, what you write is interesting. we've been on these journeys, haven't we, together and apart?

      i think as we grow we must undo the knowledge of our youth, which is in large part unfounded, or at least unearned, and come back to these things to learn them from the inside outward. i think somehow this is knit around the nest of language. when i was young i believed god was a certain thing. it was a precise word that i could or could not accept or reject. i had to unlearn language and what it means to be a human being in order to understand that each human being is very little and that the energy of the whole world courses toward a truth i will probably never comprehend. i can no longer reject or receive god for there exists both nothing to reject and yet the whole of the universe which exists beyond my inconsequential whim. i think what you and i believe is probably pretty close to the same thing, the only difference being (perhaps) how closely we guard our symbols.

      xo
      erin

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"Words at the limit of hearing, attributable to no one, received in the conch of the ear like dew by a leaf." (philippe jaccottet) or even a quiet presence is appreciated))