Yes, I’m thinking about death, again.
How can I not, were in the middle of a pandemic and the ‘news’ headlines have this crafty way of getting to you, invited or not. I’ve never been so confronted with people dying before. Figures, every day, and these figures grow and numbers become so many I’m not sure what to do with that information. My empathy levels are lessening, and that scares a little bit of crap out of me! My nervous system is crying yet my body feels a little numb and emotionally, I feel like I’m totally coping yet the smallest thing makes me want punch a hole in the wall. I’m coping, yes, but coping is what us humans do, we don’t have to do it well. However, flowing and surrendering, that is another matter.
In my thinking of death, in my thinking of how transitory this living malarkey is and how seriously we take it yet it can go in a flash, the one thing that feels more important than ever is faith.
Faith is such a strange thing as I find it a tough one to put into words. I don’t think faith can be explained, which is why religions have a million and one interpretations. I was brought up a Christian but what does that mean? I believe in Christ? I didn’t, I went to church every Sunday because I didn’t get a choice, not because I loved Jesus. I got bored, I sat and kicked my feet against the pew in-front of me and I got a look from mum that said ‘keep doing that and you’re in serious trouble young lady’. I listened to that look, my brother not so much and would often crawl across the floor, mum not noticing until it was too late to grab a leg and slide him back. Basically, it was just a thing, being a Christian was a thing I was and church was what I did.
‘It’s in the Bible!!’
That was the answer I got to most of my questions as I grew more aware of the contradictions. I did try and read the Bible but I still didn’t get answers – I was a kid and kids are more literal and Jesus walking on water didn’t make sense to my questions of why do bad things happen and where do we go when we die? Nobody could explain, because honestly, no one knows! Heaven forbid that adults didn’t actually understand the bible either.
It’s like Shakespeare. No-one totally ‘gets it’. We read it at school and most of us were ‘what the hell does this even mean?’ and to appear clever and witty, we’d nod during English and plagiarise something smart we read, offloading it like it was our own. Or was that just me?? I bet Shakespeare didn’t even know… it’s poetry, his way of making sense of something that, in the end, doesn’t really mean anything.
And that is faith, interpretation.
Now, I believe in Christ but in such a different way to how I thought it should be. Actually, I don’t believe in Christ, I believe Christ when I hear what is spoken to me through prayer, or when I meditate and feel ALL that Love.
I don’t label myself a Christian as I don’t need to. I connect with Jesus and that is that. I don’t have to be in some ruled existence or contract to say if I don’t do or say certain things, I’m a sinner or ‘wrong’. Nope, that is not how Christ works for me. See, interpretation.
And death is so much a part of faith. My faith is strengthening the more I contemplate death. I’m watching myself and my parents age, I can see they’re not able to do things with as much ease as they once did. I can feel my body change and my dreams float away like little clouds passing, once gone, I can’t see them anymore. I can’t even remember their shape or distance from me. I can’t ‘be’ the me I was 10 years ago, she’s gone, my imagining of her has to die, otherwise the way I live my life gets really warped and frustrations with my ever-ageing body will get deeper and deeper until I end up hating what is inevitable, an ever-changing physicality. And I’ve been there, that warped place, I still go there some days and it’s always as I remember it, pretty dark.
So death, she’s in my thoughts and she’s feeding my faith and some days fear wins and I’m shit scared of losing what I have. Yet, knowing death IS happening, somehow that keeps my faith alive and day by day, faith grows. I like to see faith as a tree and when the sun shines or the moon is bright, fear is the shade below her branches. The shade is forever moving yet the tree, she don’t move an inch.