Tiny print on a blank paycheck envelope. Religion and the devil on a 5am train

March 2, 2012

if i can’t imagine it, how will it happen? a girl can’t prepare for, much less work toward, a void. No negative, please. Roger Scruton for sure was on it in declaring deconstruction the work of the devil.

even as a little girl, believing in a very specific god and pantheon in a small Catholic world, i could never wrap my head or imagination around this “devil” i kept hearing about — whether as a fleshy concept creature or as a character with all the beckonings or trappings. i knew of menehune-sized mischiefs but now, at 24 years old, i wonder if children really are just so pure there’s no room for such a presence. i admit: that’s inductive and silly. truthfully, i never could wrap my head around that standard either, the purity inherent in Children thing. but if you can’t imagine it, there is no such thing.
even at 11 or 12 years old, i was disenfranchised with the culture which spoonfed me go[o]d stories that didn’t add up. i was dismayed by the notorious plethora of hypocrasies available to a Catholic practicing person straddling millennia. preserving a value and repudiating what is different (without being as entirely xenophobic as 98% of the church find themselves) is not all bad. it’s archaic and nonsense for most, but the good intention is there. (digression re: high art post-enlightenment)

but of course, you cannot campaign with empty hands. i don’t mean empty as an absence of treats or golden calves. nor do i mean the soft warm calloused nest for us to alight upon and find comfort in. i refer to the spiritual inheritance Scruton emphasized again and again in MODERN CULTURE. what culture can you possibly offer a teenager if you refuse to grow, yourself?
Isolation is for hospitals and zoos. if i’d only wanted a consistent story to draw values from, i’ve got teachings that i sought out or was sought by littered all around my personal life. But these sources are the recycled stories drawn from the human pool. They don’t claim to be anything but what they are. A composer with a bad temper is the same. But a religious leader ought to stand taller. A mother or father, a teacher, any human who wishes to be good ought to straighten their spine. Human leaders and safeguards consistently destroy the very culture they wish to preserve, as if the unending attack on tradition weren’t driving the nail quickly enough.
So here, then. If the above is more or less accurate, I’ll find my own promises to keep, kingdoms to swear fealty to. My gods don’t just love me: they challenge and ennoble me. If those hands were empty then, I assume they still are now. It’s fine. I’ve found my own indications of inheritance and now I’ve begun to understand this half of the Dualism I could never picture. A devil o great appetite: a forlorn emptiness – a tearing of walls and memory – a siphoning of ethic, value, and intent from my home. My home, where such virtues may still hide, or the manger they are being grown to, born to, is constantly targeted by that great apathetic silence. It’s true that unraveling beyond repair occurs when you don’t protect and generate the power and story your situation calls for.

So my world is safe as I stand sentry: let me imagine the woman I will become.  Not sword-bearing this time. Maybe no horses speaking in my head and no paws. No sexual trades for safety and power. I see a creator forever. A money-maker for almost as long, a scared but determined bride, and an inspiration and comfort to a diverse few from different generations. I see a lovely family and I see lifelong philanthropy. I see the world and I see the woman I’ve been dreaming of ever since I was a little girl.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: