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Things I believe…

Faith is a word I don’t often use.

It’s not that I don’t have faith—in tomorrow’s sunrise, human nature, the weatherman—just that faith is a noun. Belief, on the other hand has a verb form—to believe—and I just feel more comfortable around verbs.

Faith and Belief form a syzygetic pair, linked words that appear to be similar but can’t necessarily stand for one another. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this particular pair recently—Faith and Belief—probably because broad brush cultural issues like separation of Church and State concern me, particularly “faith-based initiatives” popular in the Bush White House years. At this point, all I can say is that my faith is pretty shaky, but my belief system is gaining strength every day. That notion of syzygy has become an especially valuable tool for me, not the least reason being its use in cutting through the current political rhetoric.

There is, for example, a vast difference in the following syzygetic pairs; words with similar but hardly interchangeable meanings. Consider: seeing and looking; intimacy and sex; spirituality and religion; justice and the law; power and control; liberty and license; closure and cloture; education and training; theater and drama; being careful or cautious; achieving acceptance or resignation; knowing contentment or happiness. Given a choice, I strive for the former every time…almost. So I apologize to all who’ve known me to choose the latter at some point in our relationship.

Horizons are not boundaries. Love is rare and difficult; lust is plentiful and far too easy. Finding a friend and being one are each hard work but mutually rewarding. Actions and words confirm one another; be very concerned when there is a significant discrepancy between the two. (I see a lot of it these days and often I’m looking in the mirror when I do.) Privilege and responsibility are also closely related; but while privilege begets responsibility, I have never assumed that it works the other way. A really great question is worth 10,000 facile replies pretending to be answers. 

My friend Jonathan Rutter painted my portrait last year—not a simple, single view of yours truly, seen from one vantage point at one particular moment, but nine shards of me, showing pieces-parts I’ve hardly noticed before. The idea was that these could become refrigerator magnets, enabling me to rearrange myself every other day. Seductive notion.

At the core, I am archipelagic, not continental.

I post the above observations because they may help to understand The Agincourt Project—if understanding is important to you.

 


2 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    ‘At the core, I am archipelagic, not continental’

    Beautiful line to a possible poem.

  2. Anonymous says:

    ‘At the core, I am archipelagic, not continental’

    Beautiful line to a possible poem.

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