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continue - when you don't know what to do... — LiveJournal
do the next thing
I read an article on Salon today that sort of irked me.

Now, I'm not particularly religious; given my druthers, I'd describe myself as "spiritual," but that has so many crackpot connotations these days. Anyway, I'm not particularly religious, but I do believe in a higher power, which for the sake of convenience I'll call God. The following are my beliefs: God gives us free will. He gives us the opportunity to fuck up our lives in any number of ways. He gives the opportunity to do good, and he gives us the opportunity to do evil. He will sometimes nudge us in one direction or the other, using our intuition. He's not going to save us from ourselves; that responsibility lies solely with us.

That being said, on to the article.
"My mother had a very different explanation for her daughter today. 'To me, this rain is proof that there is no God,' she said on the phone from Boston. People say that God can't help terrorism, that he gives people freedom to act as they choose. Fine. But a God who would hinder the rescue workers with rain? If God can't control nature, then what's the point? How can anyone believe today?' "

How can you not believe? There are a whole manner of things that go on whether there are WTC towers standing or not, whether thousands of people have been murdered or not. Weather is one of them. I was struck by that on Wednesday. I was actually surprised that it was a nice day, and that I was pleased by it, because it seemed like the change should be so profound that it even affects the weather. But it doesn't. Nature is implacable and even sometimes cruel, and if all human life dropped off the planet tomorrow, the weather would continue.

I was comforted on Thursday by the horses that I cared for and rode. They were soothing in the simplicity of their needs -- brushing, kind words, hay, water, grain... and they were a distraction from the thoughts of destruction that kept going through my mind. They too continue, no matter the other issues of the day. In the end, they need to be loved and cared for, regardless of what other things may be calling for your time and attention.

While I am pained and outraged by this attack on my country, and while the blood and memories of the fallen cry out for revenge, there are a few things I know to be true:

  • On a cosmic scale, none of this matters. The stars will continue to turn in their courses, the sun will rise and set, and the universe will go on with or without us.
  • Horses and cats and dogs and other beloved pets don't know about the evil in the world, and it's so much better that way. They just love us and need us, regardless of what else is going on in the world.
  • There is a God. He might not have stopped the rain on Friday, but how many people's lives were saved by listening to their intuition? How many people overslept, cancelled appointments, or were just plain late? How many people left their buildings anyway, even after security announcements said that they were perfectly safe and that they could return to their desks? Many people died. Some died heroes. But many more lived to go on, and do good works, and carry on in the face of this pain and anguish.

There is a God, and he tests us regularly. Pay attention to that still, small voice within you... you never know when there's going to be a pop quiz.

i feel: melancholy melancholy

shoot the rapids