Wednesday, March 7, 2012
OK Cupid finally paid off, because some guy had this posted on his profile. It's Werner Herzog narrating a beautiful short film about a plastic bag. I know, that sounds very American Beauty, but this is really wonderful. I could listen to Herzog just say the word Monster over and over again for a decade. I love his voice. I don't know if it's the tone itself, or what he says, but it puts me in the same frame of mind as when you first wake up in the morning in bed by yourself and it's spring and warm outside. Remember what his last movie did to me? I just want to be his best friend. Or I only want to be friends with people who love him too.
I thought about God a lot yesterday, after the comedy show. I was hanging out with 2 people who believe in God, which is actually a pretty uncommon occurrence these days, to be with people who want to talk about that, who I like and respect and believe to be good decent people. I am, of course, atheist through and through. But I'm also a storyteller, and I believe in stories, narratives and magic as things people should use to interpret and color their world. So while I may have lots of problems with religions, and can sound extremely caustic, bitter, and superior when it comes to living your life that way, part of me wants someone intelligent and curious to talk to me about what God means to them. Not in a "I'm going to convert you" sort of way, but in a "Let's exchange stories" way. I am afraid though, of that point which will inevitably come, where I can't hide the fact I think religion is ignorant and ruthless. I am afraid of what religion wants me to be, and how it wants to control my world and my sex. Maybe also they are afraid of the point where they will look at me and think "this person is lost and wrong". Maybe we are all walking around afraid our own judgments. Or is that only the best kind of people? Perhaps not enough people are afraid of their judgments and that's the whole problem.
I said something last night at the table, he asked "Atheist? not Agnostic?" and I replied "Science shows me everyone is equal." Which is true. Also true, science gives me miracles every day, real stories with vivid details and images and consequences. Science gives me all the miracles I need to try and be a better person. It teaches me responsibility, beauty, and objectivity. Gratefulness. Co-Existence. Curiosity. Maybe curiosity was the part missing from church. Science is more human to me than church, because it wants me to learn things. Which is all I really want to do.
I love the word Monster. It applies so many things, and All things, and it carries for me this vast gorgeous feeling of huge mystery and being, it conjures Bravery and Fear and makes my brain stretch. When I say it, it's like a mantra, it focuses my emotion on the idea that you can't know anything really about the thoughts and life of another being, inanimate or organic. Everything you know nothing about is a monster, and therefore Everything is a monster to everyone but the monster itself. Sometimes they are leering bloody nightmare things, war and betrayal and pain, and other times they are passive slow epic beasts moving in herds across plains, or trees the size of skyscrapers, or tiny little cats hunting bugs, or another person's body. The entire universe, oceans trees stars mountains planets, is contained in the word Monster. And that is the Word that makes me feel Love. That's a storyteller's spirituality, using a beast of the imagination to represent the complex beauty of atoms and chemical reactions.