Hand and Heart

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013 in Blog | 1 comment

feelitThis is a story about the day I stopped believing.

It isn’t a long story, or a dramatic one; there’s no wrenching moment of faith lost, no convincing argument that lured me to the other side, no church for me to walk out of, no talisman for me to leave discarded at the side of the road. No tarnished cross in a leaf-filled gutter.

Simply this: there were things that I believed. And one day I stopped. One day they were no more substantial than a ray of light.

A photon shot at a screen will seem to pass through at a single point; measured, it’s found to have been in two places at once.

It was the impossibility of faith that I could no longer accept. An intangible ray of light that pierces the heart and the hand at the same time, leading the hands to do the work of the heart. To the observer, you simply believe.

And, oh, I wanted to believe. I wanted the warm comfort of faith and not the cold light of truth.

The truth is a paradox. The truth is, I still want what I used to want. I want the unshakeable knowledge that I have a purpose on this earth. That I can fly and dream and sing, and yet also eat, scream, shit, cry. Bury my hands in the soil and find my heart there. That I can be in two places at once.

Well, this one went to a weird place. Probably because earlier today I was listening to an episode of This American Life entitled “Heretics” (a replay which I listened to for the first time), about a preacher who one day stops believing in the idea of hell. Very different from my other idea, which was going to be something about laser gun sights and assassins and whatnot.

Photo by spapax.

One Comment

  1. Huh.
    I… wasn’t expecting that, either. I thought it’d be something like… a THING that knocked them off of believing – like, “after you, there could be no belief in…” But, I like this better, even.

    And now I must listen to more NPR…

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