2009
03.30

Words and feelings

Once there was a girl. This girl thought a lot about everything she came across and heard of, analyzing it deeply, twisting and turning it in different directions to see all the different aspects.
Then she thought about them, and found patterns where there were seemingly no patterns, and colours where there were seemingly no colours, and answers where there were seemingly just more questions. And so she found even more questions that she had to find answers to, and so she moved forward and learned about different things she found.
And this girl could pick up a marble and find a universe, and she could study a plant growing in the spring and see it change from day to day, knowing how it built itself up from the tiny particles and water of the cold ground. And she could see it wither and crumble to dry bits in the autumn, knowing that it once again returned to the cold ground in small pieces another plant would build itself up with next spring. And she would sit by the stream and watch the subtle changes in the waterflow, put her fingers down at various depths and feel the strength of the massive body of water tugging at her to pull her down. And she would look up to the moon, knowing the halo that brought rain and the mist that brought the cold. And all that was written clearly in her mind and there were no uncertainties or unknown patterns to fear from the water of the stream, or the clouds in the air, or from the death and rebirth of plants and animals, or from the fire that could both gently warm her and painfully burn her.

And the girl would watch her cats and rabbits and she would learn their patterns. And she would curl up in the fresh green grass in the summer and watch the bugs and ants and small creatures crawl around and she would learn their patterns. And she would sit in the forest in the deep night and listen to the animals call and learn their songs, and she would sit in the forest in the days and watch the animals and learn their patterns until she could understand them. And then she knew she had nothing to fear from the animals or their songs.

But the girl had one thing she couldn’t understand, and that was people, because no matter how she would try she couldn’t find any patterns. And therefore all the times she had to spend with people was filled with uncertenties and fear, because she found no pattern she could read, and all her questions were left unanswered. People would harm her without any readable warning or reason, and therefore she learned to fear people and avoid them. And because of this, she didn’t really learn to speak. She knew the words, but she did not know the patterns to turn the words into speech, and therefore everything she said seemed wrong.
Still, she would escape into the patterns of grammar, and she would learn words and she would learn classes and she would write, because in her writing she felt safe. In the writing, there was a pattern she could find, and therefore there were no uncertenties after the questions had been answered. That led to when she did speak, she spoke in written speech, and everything she said sounded formal and sometimes archaic, and adults and teachers would nod approvingly and tell her that she had such big words for a little girl.

As she couldn’t speak in a way that made people listen to what she actually said, just how she said it, she tried to write things down to tell them. She wrote poems and stories and songs about bad things that happened, because that was how this girl lived; her life was made out of the patterns and rhythms and grammar of stories and songs. And in the songs and the stories she recorded all the bad things that happened to her, and the stories were all filled with feelings surrounding the words. And then she would read people her stories and poems and everyone would smile and tell her how well she wrote, and tell her that she had such big words for such a little girl again and again and again and ignore what the words were really about, and they would ignore the feelings surrounding the words, and they would ignore that the words where about the girl until she slowly learned that her feelings weren’t there.
And even so she would try again, because she wanted people to know. And even so she would write her stories and poems and read them again and again until they were nothing but patterns of words, and all feelings and all true meaning had been long forgotten, even by herself.

And in the patterns of words she would feel safe, because the words were no longer surrounded by feelings, and therefore she could tell them thousands of times without having to feel the same pain and fear as she did when she wrote them. And so she locked all the pain and the fear and the longing and the despair up inside her, and no more she would put them down on paper and have to face them being ignored by people who only saw the words.

And so, nothing could heal. And so, she got trapped in an eternal winter where the autumns’ dead flowers couldn’t crumble to dust and make the spring’s new flowers, and so the winter froze the river to a massive block of ice that couldn’t melt and feed the plants and sustain the life, and so the moon got hidden in unreadable clouds and so the patterns got broken, and she was too caught up with the unfeeling patterns of grammar to notice.
.

And now when she has finally noticed that her words lost the feelings and that the feelings weren’t actually gone but were nothing but frozen, she has to gently thaw her world and not fear the decay that will come before everything can follow the pattern and get healthy and filled with life once again, because it is the decay and withering of the old that turns it into small enough pieces that new life feed and thrive upon.
.

And yet, she is still afraid to write as before, and she is afraid to speak as before, and she is afraid of showing the feelings, because she has learned that her feelings has no place around her words, even if she knows the pattern, because now it is a different pattern and she has too many questions that yet needs answers that turn into new questions and new answers before it can be safe once again.
.

Because, before the answers, there can be no pattern, and therefore her life is filled with uncertainty and fear of what she does yet not know.

2009
03.09

About God, or about me.

(Ursprungligen, alldeles nyss postat på min blog – http://blog.panterdjuret.nu. På engelska. Enjoy.)

***
(Uppdaterat pga stavfix. Fick kanske inte alla, för jag är riktigt trött och vill sova nu.)

***

I used to believe in God when I was a child. I believed in Heaven. I actually believed that animals also went to heaven, and that there were a different Heaven for all the different animals. The rabbit Heaven had all this wonderful fresh grass, and softly rising hills, perfects for rabbits to live in. Small, green and edible bushes they could sleep beneath. The horse Heaven had these almost infinite plains and small forest patches and clean, fresh rivers. The eagle Heaven had forest-covered, snow-tipped mountains and deep, blue lakes. That there was the human Heaven (that place most people mean by referring to Heaven). Were people would be happy and grow food and live in a big, white city with a lot of libraries with the collected wisdom and history of all mankind.

I also believed that there were small bridges between the different Heavens, so that all the animals could visit each other. So that you would be able to go and visit dead pets who would now be happy in their own heaven. And meet them again.

I also used to believe in God. I don’t really know which God, if it was Jehovah or Allah or someone else. But no one told me about things like that when I was a child. It was just ”God” for me. God was a name, just like Mommy was a name and Daddy was a name. (It took several years for me to actually understand that not all grown women were called Mommy, and all grown men Daddy. My mother never came and said ”Hi there, I am (insert first name here).” She told me she was my Mommy. It made sense that her name was Mommy.

And in the same way, I never thought much about what God could be called. I thought God was this loving, sometimes kind of strange person who loved us all and wanted us to be happy because he had created us and we were all sort of his children. That in itself made him sort of our parent, and parents were there to do strange things. Of course, my father never fed me to a whale, not even if I had been really, really bad, but then again, my father wasn’t really omnipotent. If he had been, perhaps he would have fed people to whales.

And I really believed there was a God who looked after us and took care of us. That he would take care of our dead cats and rabbits and fish and keep them happy in their own Heavens until we could come up there and pat them again

I also believed that you could talk to God and get answers. I talked a lot to God, but he never talked back. Considering that by this time I already saw and talked to the Creatures, I began to doubt that God was real. If he was, he could at least say ”Hello there,” now and then? If he really were everywhere simultaneously and could really do everything, why did he never even say ”Hello” to me?

So somewhere when I was around ten, I stopped believing in God, and instead got really convinced that there was no God, just like there was no Gandalf. They just didn’t exist, either one. No one could help me, I was alone in the world. It was up to me to be happy or not, to stay out of harms way and love my animals while they lived, because I would never see them ever again when they died. If I got in trouble, there would be no God to rescue me, just as there would never be a Gandalf there to solve my problems. Those things just happened in books. The Bible was a book. Those little comic books and colouring books that we got in church, they were still just books, telling stories. Just as Lord of The Rings was a book, and told stories.

Perhaps it was good stories. Perhaps it was stories you could find advice on how to live your life in. (Like, don’t get eaten by a whale, or by dragons.) Perhaps you could save lives by giving them away to people. Perhaps you could save your own by reading them. But they were both still stories, in books.

Well, the last years I haven’t been that sure anymore. Because I have to admit that some form of at least Godlike thing might be out there. It’s not that much more far fetched than to believe that there might be Creatures out there that I just haven’t met yet. That I have started to believe that there might be a God out there doesn’t mean that I can believe in everything people claim God to be. I can’t believe that he spontaneously created the world. I cant believe he put all animals here, fully designed from the beginning. I can’t believe that he is omnipotent.
I can believe that there could be something out there that does care about us and love us and wants to help us.
I share my head with two such beings, and I have at least another one in my living room.
This at least opens up the possibility that there might be a God.
And I have been worried lately that if there is a God, and if God actually does create us, that he would somehow be sad about how I turned out. Think that I was evil. That I turned out in a way that disappointed him.
I think that it started when I started thinking about having my semi-sometimes meetings with a priest again. I like talking about differences in living and belief.

Yesterday I listened to a talk from TED, by a pastor called Rick Warren. He said that no person is an accident, and that God makes us the way we are for a reason. That God gets happy every time we are ourselves, because he made us to be just who we are. ”The bottom line is God gets pleasure of watching you be you. Why? He made you. And when you do what you were meant to do ’That’s my boy. That’s my girl. You are using the power and ability that I gave you.’ ”
And somehow that had a big impact on me. In part because he said it with such feeling, in part because I added it together with other things Christians have said.
Like ”God loves you, whether you believe in God or not.”
Like: ”God created you, and he wants you to be you.”
Like: ”God never makes a mistake.”

And if I put those things together, there is only one way I can see it; If there is a God, and he created me in some way, he loves me. Even if I can’t believe in him. And even if I sometimes want to do – and write about doing – really horrid things to people, I also help people. It doesn’t make sense for me that the good deeds you do only counts if you also believe in God. If God exists, the thought of someone helping people without doing it just to please him must make him really happy. ”She doesn’t even believe in me, she doesn’t believe that she will get to Heaven if she helps people, and she does it anyway!”
Someone helping people, someone trying to make the world a better place. Not out of fear of Hell or hope for Heaven, but because she wants to help.
If he made me this way, he also created my ”darker” sides. But are they really darker? Are they really evil or wrong? I can use those ”dark”  thoughts to write horror novels or ventilate my anger instead of letting it build up. I use them for hundreds of good things each day. If God created me, and God doesn’t make mistakes, then I guess he will just have to put up with me the way I am.
I have no idea why God if he existed would create someone like me. That’s a mystery. Perhaps it was an experiment, perhaps I have something to do, a secret mission. Perhaps I really am meant for something that have yet to happen. I have no idea.

But the next time Jehovah’s Witnesses or someone else shows up and tell me that I have to be in a special way for God to love and accept me, I will ask them those questions. ”Do you believe  that God loves you, whether you believe in him or not? Do you believe that God created you and wants you to be you? Do you believe that God never makes a mistake?”
If they say that I have to be someone else to be loved by God, he isn’t loving. If they say that God created me to be me and then that I must be someone else, why didn’t he make me that person?
Because I am Pao. And those who believe in God should leave judging right or wrong to him.

I actually don’t want to live in Heaven after my death. Not in any of the Heavens. Not cat Heaven. Not human Heaven. I want this life, my only life. I don’t want reincarnation, and I don’t want Hell. I don’t want to live forever. I don’t want to live in an Eternal Earth Paradise. I want to do the best I can of this life. I am going to love my friends while they live, I will kiss my male and my female while we still love each other, I will plant my peas and potatoes and flowers while there is time.
I will do my best to change the world to the better, I will smile at strangers, I will dance and sing, I will try to give hope and comfort to people. I can give them poems, I can give them words, I can give them paintings and music. That is what I can give them. I can give them pleasure in this world. Because I want this world to be better, for everyone.

And if God one day comes to me and say ”Hey, Pao, I actually exist, and Heaven is real and I do love you and care for you,” I will smile at him and say ”Fine. Please take care of my animals for me, give them a great time. I have important things to do here, if you don’t mind. Would you please pass me that brush and that bucket of paint?”
And if he created me, he will smile.

Because that is Pao.
And that is the only thing that I can truly offer the world.

That is the only thing I can and could ever be.
Pao.