Thursday, April 4, 2013

Question the Universe

I used to have great faith in the powers of the universe. I’m not religious and never have been, so I don’t put my faith in god, and I don’t walk around thanking the Goddess for everything. Not out loud, anyway. So, it was all about the universe for me back then.

Now, I think the phrase is grossly overused. Every other person I bump into on Facebook thanks for universe for one thing or another. I’ve noticed the phrase is also used a lot by younger people, people with few real problems, and people who know they’ll have enough money for the rent because they have little responsibility and plenty of excess cash.  These people also see magic in everything. Seeing magic isn’t a bad thing, but in all things? Granted, I acknowledge magic in many things. I know that coincidences are rarely coincidences, and I believe in animal symbols and synchronicity.  I even believe in magic. I just don’t see it absolutely everywhere.

That used to be me. It was easy to see magic everywhere from my office in downtown San Francisco. I mean, the view there was spectacular. It was easy to acknowledge the power of the universe through the lens of $100K plus per year. Now, I have a non-profit job that I love.  I march to work in a baseball cap and t-shirt with my favorite comic book character on it, size large since I've lost over a hundred pounds, and the view sees me much happier. It might be easier to see through a $100K per year lens, but it doesn't make me as happy as this does, highlighting the enormous difference between "easy" and "happy".

My past certainty is replaced by unanswered questions, lots of unanswered questions. Like, why is it possible for bacteria to take down a robust 60 year old woman? Why is it so hard for me to find a well-paying job that has benefits?  Why is Daizy peeing in the bedroom upstairs at night all of a sudden instead of outside like she has without fail for the last 7 years?  Why is good fortune often accompanied by equally bad fortune, as if some kind of balance must be maintained, and how does one enjoy that good fortune without guilt?

Truthfully, I spend considerable time feeling tossed about like a leaf in the wind.  I always try to see the bright side of things because most of the time I have no idea how things work.  I can’t simply throw a blanket explanation on it.  Like, I don’t know for certain if we pick our lifetime before we’re born, and I don’t know that we all travel in soul groups. I can’t say with certainty that bad things happen to us so our souls can learn some specific lesson from it.  I like to believe there is a bigger picture because I don’t believe anything out of a book or religion without question, and because the alternative, the possibility that there is no purpose to life and our experiences at all, is simply to grim an alternative to entertain.

I do believe in a higher power.  It doesn't matter to me if it’s God or Goddess or the universe. What matters is the knowledge that God/Goddess helps those who help themselves.  Certainly, it’s the higher power that can deal you an Ace over a Queen in Black Jack.  But you have to understand what’s in your hand and take the initiative to ask for a card.

I guess what I’m saying is that at almost 50, I see less and less of those magic moments.  And when I do, I know they happen because I helped make them happen.

Donna L. Faber
April 5, 2013


V-Grrrl said...

You've had a long hard stretch. The last five years have been so difficult for so many people and for our country. This past winter was hard for me--starting with Hurricane Sandy in October, going through election stress, then Newton then the fiscal cliff and now the sequester. All that was a backdrop for more personal struggles and the longest coldest grayest winter we've had in a very long time. I began to lose hope of things ever improving for us and then they did. Small things and bigger things that have helped me feel the light on my face again and pushed back the creep of despair. I hope Leslie gets relief from her pain and you get relief from your financial struggles and unemployment. Thinking of you.

Donna L. Faber said...

You ain't just whistlin' Dixie, V-Grrrl ... It has indeed been a long stretch, and while I long for these financial challenges to ease, I am also enjoying what I'm doing at the Art Center. Crazy.

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