So, there’s this envelope with a document inside asking me to ‘have my say’.
In an apparent attempt to allow space for everyone’s voices these envelopes have been delivered all around Australia, asking for a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.
And I will tick one of those boxes and I will post it back because I understand that for many people this is a very significant and important question, and it really matters that people thoughtfully engage with the lives that are impacted by the answer to this question.
But, if I’m truly going to have my say, it’s this.
It’s Monday morning. Wind sweeps through the leaves out the window, and the Spring sunshine I basked in yesterday is now a dreary grey.
In my world, Monday is day off. It is rest. This means phone is switched off, emails are off limits, textbooks are closed and my activity throughout the day is slow and thoughtful. I think at a different pace and spend more time reflecting and trying to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Senses feel heightened on this day, as I notice what my food tastes like, marvel in the glory of a carefully chosen craft beer and let background music come to the foreground, hearing all the detail in a song I would often miss.
In my reflective state, I think back over the weekend that has just passed. Like many of my weekends, the one just gone was filled with contrasting contexts that seem almost comical when they’re placed next to each other.
This morning, like most mornings, I was involuntarily awoken at 6am.
This isn't the first involuntary wakeup of the night, but it is the last.
This is the one where the bundle of boy is beaming. Crawling across my head, eating keys from my bedside table, and making noises that signal a general zest for life. There is no going back to sleep from here. It is now officially daytime. I begrudgingly pull my self out of warm blanket nest. I do not share Noah's enthusiasm for 6am.
- even a little idiotic -
but I think,
the most religious person I know
is an atheist
And I can already hear the objections to that sentiment
The crowd switch-off, the flare-up of ‘faith vs. evidence’!
But try to stay with me - this may be relevant
whether you’re a ‘right-wing evangelical’
a ‘progressive intellectual’
or a ‘lefty vegan’ smoking the botanical
I’m not a fan of the labels - trust me; I try to avoid them
(Can’t we just agree we’re all human, and we’re all kind of annoying?)
But I do find it funny that my friend, a Facebook activist
atheistic strategist, trying to save the world
with surprisingly violent words for a pacifist
loves to remind me how backwards my passion is
He’s a university student; he’s doing an arts degree
(So we’ve got something in common; I’ve got an arts degree)
But if you’re asking me - doesn’t matter if you’ve got an arts degree
or a PhD in some form of scientific mastery
Either way, you can still a bastard, be.
Don’t take that as an accusation
I just have some simple observations
the same temptation for self-righteous proclamation
and broad, sweeping condemnation
can be wielded by every variation
of information interpretation
We all want to be right, right?
We all want to lift our hands
or fall to our knees
sing, pray, preach, proselytise, lecture
gather in conferences, forums, theatres
rejoice and lament
about the wonder and the agony
and the mystery, of it all.
about Higgs Bosons, protons, photons,
the complex language of DNA
the injustice of all the pain
the hope of a tomorrow better than today!
Surely these impulses are as human
as believing you’re the ant the universe revolves around?
But religion is a funny concept with myriad meanings
Did you know Jesus seemed to only fight with religious leaders?
Did you know every university textbook was written by someone, or some crew
as grand and flawed as me and you?
Did you know first-class academics have been in favour of eugenics
and beautiful work has been done by ‘uneducated peasants’?
Did you not know that all the boxes break?
We’re all a little messy,
a little religious
a little pretentious
a little evangelical
a little lost
a little in need of comfort
a little in need of restraint
I’m not a fan of the labels - trust me, I try to avoid them
Can we just agree we’re all human, and we’re all kind of annoying?
Beautiful, frustrating, growing children asking question after question
thinking with our stomach, our scratches, our exhaustion
trying to sneak in a bite when we get in a fight
crying for a parent to intervene
because our knees are bruised.
So, how about we
put ourselves aside for a moment
dress each other’s wounds
make some fairy-bread
and play in the streets