Skip to content

Call me

Today, laddies and gentlewomen, I must admit I feel put upon. Now there are millions of people in the world that have it much worse than I do; but when I feel put upon reflecting on how much more shit some poor schmuck has to swallow does not make me feel better. It just adds guilt to an already un-fun little head space.

Things have been a wee bit difficult at the headquarters for my mission to save the whole wide world and little old you. I am torn- figuratively and literally. I literally have a torn calf muscle, which is keeping me on my backside in bed, which you’d think with my proclivities could be a lot of fun, but unfortunately isn’t. And I figuratively feel torn about what to say and do next. What is the next step to spread The Good (and Not So Good) Words to even more people even further away from me?

Things have plateaued. This is normal for anything building up from the grassroots, but it can be more than a little frustrating. It stirs up all my doubts about this project. This is when I return to Alain Badiou, the French philosopher, and remind myself that the best thing that he said was to “keep going.”

‘Keep going!’ Keep going even when you have lost the thread, when you no longer feel ‘caught up’ in the process, when the event itself has become obscure, when its name is lost, or when it seems that it may have named a mistake, if not a simulacrum!” Alain Badiou, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil

Y’all might think I harp on this but reminding yourself to keep going becomes very important when you do not have the certainty of conviction to prop you up. I do not know much for certain, even though I sometimes act and speak as if I do. It is easy for me to fall down into a puddle and slide off the path, even though it is a path I have chosen. My bossy as all get out voice and mannerisms belie it, but, in my heart of hearts, I am a true doubter. This means that I often get lost in a fog of my own dithering and doubting. Though sometimes, it is hard to distinguish real doubt from doubts trumped up by my reluctant, passive aggressive, don’t want to do much of nothing side to get out of working on something that may just not turn out the way I want it to.

It is not easy for me to stay the course. I have too many questions. I drop my bread crumbs down to mark a trail. I forge ahead. I secretly send birds questing to eat my trail. I cannot be sure of anything except perhaps where I am right now.

I find first person conversion narratives (doesn’t matter what faith) fascinating because they are about people connecting to something they believe in. I earnestly tried to be follow several different faith practices. But just when I started to think I could be part of this, whatever this was at the time, I found I could not let go of my doubts. I often appreciated other people’s devotion but could not devote myself. I was not called to be a follower of those faiths, even though I heard the faint echo of the reverberation of the call’s sounding for other.

I keep going because I believe- at least a little bit, some of the time- the world needs more preachers like me. More people to say that things are uncertain. More preachers to declare there are a million million shades of grey. More gurus to admit that there is no a clear cut set of four/seven/twelve steps/principles/laws that if followed will magically make everything all right. More people of the cloth to warn us that anyone who tells you there is One Answer is the worst sort of snake oil salesman. More religious figures to say, “I don’t know for certain. I’m making my best guess and seeing where that leads.”

Those of us who doubt, we just have to pick a path- knowing it is imperfect, knowing we will encounter contradictions while walking it, knowing that others will shake their heads and tell us we are going the wrong way. We say to ourselves, “Let’s try this.” Our faith is not in the particular path but in the walking of it. We have to move, one way or the other. We will be forced to move, if we do not choose. (Let’s not go into how our choices often are much more limited, more prescribed, then we would like to believe). Sometimes, it is useful to pretend that the path we chose is the “right” path, even if by that we mean the right for right now path.

When this mini-dark night of the soul is over, I will remain a doubting Thomas, but this time I am not letting my doubts- some useful, some worthless- completely derail me. I stay on track. I stay the course. I keep going. To spread The Good (and Not So Good) Words far and wide is my calling; the right for right now path I keep on keeping on.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *