Saturday, April 6, 2013

Belief

Belief can become an intimidating thing, causing you to consider how much or how little you trust the activities and individuals in orbit about the landscape you inhabit.  To believe a thing is a tricky business, to believe in yourself can be daunting.

Given to long bouts of pragmatism, you find that state of suspension sometimes reaching a state of  being unsatisfactory.  Believing in yourself is the equivalent of approaching your visible resources much in the manner of a panhandler in a Trader Joe's parking lot, hustling you for spare change.

As a younger person, you used to feel you had unlimited quantities of that kind of spare change, but then middle age came lumbering along and for a time, it brought the kind of fear with it that makes conservatives out of liberals.

Belief in a thing means taking responsibility.  However much a mountain goat leap of logic this responsibility may seem, you find belief and, indeed, faith in a series of animal friends, beginning with the extraordinary cat, Sam, who opened the door wide for a succession of dogs, Blue and her kids, Edward and Jed, then Molly, then Nell, and now Sally.  Believing in animals connects you with individuals out of your own species, demonstrating how you can have the back of and trust your own back to someone out of your immediate species.

You're aware of things you've willingly given up in order to experience the companionship of an animal, but, truth to tell and recognize, the partnership often tilts to your advantage.  You believe you are a good partner to Sally, but you are more apt to take the strength of her partnership with you for granted.

The same sorts of responsibility apply to the things you believe you care about.  Such beliefs often sustain you for no apparent reason.  You suppose it is possible to think of belief as a kind of muscle memory in which you expect you will continue to experience a continuing admiration and attraction the same way you expect to go on believing such basics as sun and moon rise and set, of Earth's movement, of the potential for a sentence or a paragraph to resonate, of the even more mystical-seeming ability of a series of notes to cause you to feel a distinct shade or coloring of emotion.

Your belief extends to that most ephemeral range of possibility, the ability you sometimes have for setting down a sentence or paragraph or page of words that capture your feelings about persons, places, and things, and yes, about dogs and cats.  It is not sufficient, you reckon, to take these things at face value, without pausing for a time to let the extent of your belief in them race through the inner byways of this hybrid vessel you call Self.

You often have belief in that, as well, and oh, the many things you do believe about it, things you are as certain of as you are about the rise and set of the sun and the moon.  There is no time you're able to remember when you believed you would come into being.  There was a time when you should have thought you'd live just before you understood you were voluntarily relinquishing your consciousness in order for Alex Koper, MD to remove some cancerous presence from your body.  At the time you reckon you ought to have thought of that, you didn't.  Not until you were pretty sure you'd live did you understand you might not have.  Was it, you wonder, your belief in self that caused you to assume you'd live.  Was it merely a belated surge of adrenaline when you finally realized you were at greater risk?

These are only a few conditions in which belief in Self doesn't remain at muscle memory level 24/7, which you understand means times where belief is strained.  You like the word ductile here, the quality of being able to be strung out, drawn out into a wire.  Your belief systems are wiry, and then they seem to have reached diameters, you believe you have techniques for keeping the process going.  You have a splendid word choice here, stubborn or resilient.  Wiry or tenuous.

Somewhere along your way, you began to believe things would go your way, which is to say you would find through work senses of growth, satisfaction, adventure, and the ability to reciprocate.  You used to believe reciprocate meant that you'd show them.  Now, you have less of an idea who the "they" are you'd show, and even then, you have close to no idea at all except attitude what things you'd show them.

Perhaps you'd show them you, content to let the matter rest there.


Perhaps a sentence or a paragraph or a story.  Perhaps once you'd started, you'd take such pleasure in it, you'd find it difficult to stop until you'd shown them all.

No, you hadn't forgotten or become distracted.  One day, some day, you understand and, thus, believe you will be out of here, beyond this, before you've had a chance to show all.  But perhaps you'll show enough to be remembered for a time.

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