Up on Fairy Bower the webcam captures Manly, floating like a phantom city, amidst a winter night.
June 29, 2014
I’ve been working with a research assistant from Afghanistan. A Tajik, she grew up during the Taliban years a refugee in Pakistan, where her schooling was funded by Saudis.
Because you can only code so much data before your brain gives up, we’ve been chatting things, with her, a Sunni Muslim, asking me about science and Christianity. And me curiously learning more about her life and beliefs. Enjoyable conversations although, of course, I flunked the theological questions.
Which, in turn, started me thinking, what do I believe?
This is where I got.
As my rational, thoughtful, self, I am an agnostic. An agnostic fundamentalist. I don’t know. I don’t see how it’s possible to know. And I have no idea whatsoever how some people can think they know.
Yet, reason isn’t everything and, at my best, surfing, stargazing, or looking at long horizons, I feel like a Pantheist of sorts. It is consoling, almost exhilarating. And fleeting.
That’s what I think, and how I feel. But then there are my hopes. I hope — without any confidence what I hope for will be — for some form of reincarnation, in which we all get to experience many lives, because one short one amongst all that universe doesn’t seem nearly enough.
Lots of lives, but I wouldn’t want reincarnation, or anything for that matter, to go on forever. So I also hope that at some point, once there’s enough, we ebb away, back into the universe. And I hope that when this happens, it is so peaceful, and so kind, it redeems all the awful things we do, and atones all the sadness. I hope this cures things. And that everyone ends up happily ever after.
It’s a hokey, hippy, kindof hope. But, no one, certainly not any organised religion, has suggested any better to me.
June 19, 2014
I took them for granted, of course. And they were well hidden amidst the traffic snarl of suburbs. But Long Island had bits of magic, around the edges of its McMansions and strip malls. Raccoons raided our rubbish at night! And when you lay awake you could listen to the soft wail of trains speeding down the spine of the island, sounding their sirens at level crossings.
In the fall huge piles of fading leaves heaped on streets, and billowed about in the wind. And on Fire Island boozy holiday makers were replaced by quiet, watchful dear.
In spring nor’ east storms would tear surf from the icy sea and we would heap on wetsuits to buy us time as we waited for waves.
In summer at night thunder heads would trundle over off Long Island sound. Grumbling and flashing. Once a bolt of lightening hit a power-poll down the block from my girlfriend’s parents’ pace. It felled the poll and the burst of electricity turned the surge protector their TV was connected to into a molten blob of plastic and ended the television.
June 12, 2014
I’ve worked as a garbage collector, a hygiene technician, and a labourer. So I can’t legitimately complain about my office job. However, legitimacy is overrated. So: one step better than the standing desk…
I love the bit on Shakespeare at the end too.