In my search for love,
Which has included fumbling hands
And embarrassing exits,
I have also been searching far, far above the heads of my lovers.
There is a God I long to recover
But I fear he is a fictional character,
a Gatsby or a person in one of Regina Spektor’s songs,
Sounds so real but actually
The words, the scripted words,
of Holy Scripture made him up.
So I begin digging, digging down into my soul
Looking for something supernatural
Something that can’t be caused by biology, physiognomy, psychosomatic reactions…
But I can’t do it.
I’m no scientist and I’m no theologist.
I’m just a student with too little time to think about this
But I know I don’t believe what I once used to.
This is a long journey, and while I have made progress, I am nowhere near a conclusion.
I know it exists, something magnificent, God, Awesome…something.
But this progress , this journey, is such a difficult one to speak about
Which is why I speak of it to few friends
And it is the subject of few blog posts.
Today, in the library, on my way down the stairs,
About to look for a cosy spot in which to revel in the glories of Post-colonial theatre studies,
Which are all about reinterpretations, reforming of identities, and multifaceted answers,
I bump into an old church friend.
I bump into them a lot – my church is quite big for this tiny town, and they are all very friendly people (you gotta be, to save them poor souls with, you know, piercings and things)
But most of them have the tact not to ask why I wasn’t with them on Sunday.
I’ve already told them all that I’m not coming anymore. But it seems some have more difficulty believing it than others.
In that staircase, with students rushing up and down, staring at us and widening their eyes when they hear the taboo word JJJJESUS, which seems to take longer to say than hypoglicemicisation….
I get a good ole preach
From my dear friend
Who does care about me, believe me, I believe it.
She’s scared, I see it in her eyes, she fears I’m going to hell, I’m going to join up with Satan.
I’m frankly shitting myself, cos it’s not a thought I like to have.
Even if I doubt the very existence of any afterlife hell.
It makes me a little queasy.
All I wanted to do was say hi, do that friendly hug thing, and get back to William Kentridge and theatre puppets. But no.
I somehow rope myself into a preach/debate that carries on for half an hour or so, so intense I don’t even have time to check my watch. And as abruptly as it starts, it ends. She decides to leave me in the hands of God, clearly, because before I can blink she’s climbed the flight of stairs and is looking down saying goodbye and goodluck for exams. And I’m left calling out after her:
I hope you don’t think I’m falling off the tracks, because I’m fine, I’m changing, but don’t worry about me. And she can’t even form a sentence, she just sort of shrugs and says goodbye again.
In the library’s bathroom I look at my pale face and think of Faust, who sold his soul to the Devil. William Kentridge used Goethe’s text on Faust as a source for his own production, Faustus In Africa. I am not Faust. I am not who I was last year.
I don’t know where I’m going, but I’ve got to keep going.
Your prayers are welcome, but your prejudice is not.
I’m glad my friend ASKED me. I’m glad she didn’t carry on formulating her own opinions. I’m satisfied with our argument, in which we came to no conclusion, in which I wasn’t convinced, and neither was she, and which started with her telling me I was breaking her heart, and ended with me walking off feeling my own heart break.
This has no end. This has no answer.