And it was sew...

AmandaLeeWalker's picture

In a twitter-tweet not too long ago, Jason posted this question: “What would you do if God didn’t extend past your nose? If God was only that size and you were responsible for God’s Presence in the World?”

My initial reaction to this question included fear, sadness, tears, and confusion. Evidently, this, for me, is no small question. And yet, as I’ve sat with it, I’ve seen parts of myself surface in a desperate attempt to make this query small and insignificant: Please, let this not matter so. Or: these questions about God not extending past my nose, they are silly and far too reminiscent of that looming Joan Osborne song, you know, “What if God were one of us?”

Then the fear and the tears return, as I say, to myself: “I hear you, I hear how you try to put your fear into words. This is not exactly the most direct route for expressing how you feel. But then there’s beauty to your skepticism, Amanda.” Saying this to myself… Well, I’ve learned a lot from Jason, Jeff, Susan, John, and all the souls of ASOS.

And to the reader, I ask, would you read on if I say I don’t have an answer? I don’t know. I know that I am captivated by this particular wondering about God, it has become a playground for learning about myself.

I know I am living this question, Jason’s question, and my question in return.

There are narratives with which I continue to struggle. Duh! In that struggle, I often remember these words from Fairbairn: “If it be asked how it comes about that conditional badness is preferred to unconditional badness, the cogency of the answer may best be appreciated if the answer is framed in religious terms; for such terms provide the best representation for the adult mind of the situation as it presents itself to the child. Framed in such terms, the answer is that it is better to be a sinner in a world ruled by God than to live in a world ruled by the Devil” (Endopsychic Structure Considered in Terms of Object-Relations, 1944).

Fairbairn’s duality is, for me, palpable. Either I am a sinner living in a world ruled by God or I surrender to a world ruled by the devil. I am either the locus of bad or good, and whatever I am, there is only a luminal space between myself and the world of opposite.

And so I find yet more meaning to my own solipsism. And I feel shame as well as curiosity that these questions remain.

As palpable, though less and less grueling as my healing continues, are the seeds sown that have me gardening the soil of solipsism’s invitation. In the midst of years of childhood trauma, I grew to cope by issuing certain declarations to God: “You or me.” “Her or me.” “Life or death.” “Joy or sorrow.” “Suffering or no suffering.” And I would pray: “Please God, make it so.”

I think, possibly, when I pray I shouldn’t use synonyms. Ha. For God made it so by sewing the seeds of my questions. God gave in to my duality, my sense of isolation, my terror, with these seeds, sewing declarations into questions.

And so to Jason’s questions, and to the notion about God not extending past my nose: I have a sense of humor/God has a sense of humor. With the fraction of that duality, the remainder teaches: humor holds space for God and I to coexist before my nose. I can be responsible for a little laughter every now and then.