I saw the "Book of Eli" this week with my son. It's a good film for a lot of reasons but the really great one is faith. A rare film indeed, that illustrates the beauty and power of faith while illustrating the pure horror of how a basis of faith, manipulated by someone strong and enigmatic enough, can destroy.
My son's faith is unwavering.
I've told him that I'm envious of him. That knowledge, rooted deep within, not only of the existence of his higher power, but that he/she/it does everything for a reason. We're all here for a lesson to learn.
"I believe in all paths to God...."--a quote from a USA Characters promo I saw this week.
I've been searching for answers since I was 15 when I had my first and 23 year long crisis of faith. I'm not looking for scientific proof of God, nothing so inane, for I believe that would ruin the reason for faith in the first place. I'm not searching for the tangible "Discover" magazine unveiling of the truth, if there is such a thing.
I'm asking why.
If we have lessons to learn, why do we have to have the curriculum pounded into our heads over and over again? For every personal disaster, when I hang my head and feel miserable for myself, a natural calamity comes along somewhere and makes me feel guilty for it.
God's way of telling me to stop the pity party, or just to fuck myself?
What does he want from me then? I will never be Abraham, but I'm hardly Cain.
I have days where all I look to my left, my beautiful coonhound snoring there. The door across the hall is open, and in that darkened room lies the snoozing form of the greatest thing that ever happened to me, my son. I have a roof, dogs, cats.
What am I so angry about? I get headaches from clenching my teeth. Absence seizures rack my brain from stress over what I see.
West Memphis, 1993. 3 dead naked boys found in the Robin Hood Hills. Naked, destroyed and racked into rigor mortis. Who tosses aside little boys as if they were squirrels?
Guyana, 1979. Jim Jones gets hundreds of devoted followers to drink enough poisoned Flav-or-Aid to die in piles on the ground.
This is footage I've seen in just the last couple of days, hard enough, that when I get psychically well-adjusted, it slaps me in the face.
And I question that power. I know I'm not the only one, and that's fine. And down to brass tacks we go, to accept these horrible atrocities that happen without snapping, faith is what you gotta have, kid.
So I'm hovering somewhere in the middle.
I'm hardly a happy person, but I've got a lot to be thankful for. I'm angry, but have a mighty pronounced sense of humor. When the good things are good enough, I can almost feel the heat of some sort of faith developing, a grasp of ease that we're in the right hands.
Then I turn on the news. Darfur. Rwanda. Mexico. 9-11. Green River.
23 years and counting.