Greetings all. A couple of days ago I posted about how I’d just submitted a piece to the Medium Writers Challenge, and linked to my entry (the competition rules don’t allow you to reproduce your submissions anywhere else while the challenge is still active). Being the conniving master of suspense I am, I neglected to mention that I’d actually submitted more than one piece to the competition. I know. We’re dealing with such fiendish levels of subterfuge, shock & awe, Sturm und Drang, sheer pull-back-and-reveal here that if I’d been alive when the Greeks were storming Troy they would unanimously have said ‘Forget that poser Odysseus and his time-consuming giant wooden horse idea. Let’s hear what Wabi Sabi has to say.’
Annnnnnyway, where the other piece centred around Work this one is about Death. Here’s the competition prompt in full: ‘People die, of course, but so do other things. Ideals. Relationships. Jobs. Life phases. Pieces of who we once were. A death isn’t always inherently sad, either; sometimes, it’s a positive step, freeing us from what was weighing us down or allowing us to move forward. Illusions can die. Grudges. Bad habits. Tell us about a death you’ve experienced, for better or worse, and how you marked the loss — whether it was with mourning or celebration.’
I’d been meaning for a long time to write a post about how my childhood faith has recently fallen away and been replaced by something hazier, scarier but more authentic. This prompt, with its “pieces of who we once were”, “positive step” and “freeing us from what was weighing us down”, was all the excuse I needed to finally get it out of my system. Nothing like a looming competition deadline to sharpen your focus.
So here it is - the belief systems and attitudes that shaped my early years, some of the complications that have risen up since, the experience of constantly having to defend sincerely held beliefs against outer attack and inner cognitive dissonance, the way I managed to come to an accommodation with my doubts, and how I now see a difference between “belief” and “faith”. Hope you enjoy, and have a good week.