So I sit in my cubicle and cut off my split ends with some scissors I found in the filing cabinet. I have a restless energy. My email is strangely empty and without an onslaught of work I must resort to sitting with my feelings. Never. I put in my earbuds and listen to indie bands with odd names and open new tabs on my desktop.
The others in the office are busy, they speak with endless streams of clients on the phone and peck away at their keyboards. In this industry as I imagine in many others, busyness is next to godliness. I could reach out and grab the arm of my coworker as she shuttles her and a cup of hot coffee to the boardroom. How could I convince her to sit and talk awhile?
My thought is broken as I hear a door close at the end of the hall and muffled voices greet her. I open a new tab and type in LinkedIn slowly, letter by letter. I review my profile and wince at my title. I shouldn’t be sitting here idle, it was luck that I landed this job at all.
I close the tab and head to the breakroom to fix myself a coffee. I pull the mug from the shelf and listen to the coffee machine gurgle and spit the brown liquid into the small pool of creamer at the bottom. A quick swirl and a careful sip reassures me that this cup is as off putting as cups past. No matter, it’s just for the energy anyway.
I plan out some future projects for several hours before pushing away the mouse. Should I take my lunch? I check the clock on the corner of my monitor before the screen of my phone catches my eye. A new message. I tilt the phone up and a childish smile erupts across my face. He text me.
Somewhere he was staring at his phone and, if but for a moment, thinking of me. What a thought! I wait until exactly a minute has passed, checking the iPhone clock repeatedly before opening the message.
I type out a text back, rereading it half a dozen times before hitting send. I jot down ‘Out to Lunch’ on a sticky note and paste it to my monitor, unable to shuck the giddy smile. If only he knew the power he had.
When did anomie become your Beelzebub? When did the nihilistic shadows in your mind take the shape of an archaic demon? Your God became a substitution for your art, a depthless void to pour your love out to. He is not listening. Perhaps he never was.
You constructed a framework to systemize the spiritual behaviors innate in all mankind. The faithful to be set apart from the faithless. But you have flown too close to the sun. The truth was there all along. When I looked to the stars and felt small you told me it was because I was looking upon the face of creation. Why then did I read your God’s word and not feel that same stirring?
Just believe their eyes seem to scream. Let down your burdens and fall into grace. I yearn to, to drop all my inhibitions and take up the faith. But at what cost? Can one make their heart believe that which their mind does not?
I said I seek the truth and you asked if I imagined truth and seeking first the kingdom of heaven were incompatible. I said I imagined they were.
‘Sometimes when all is stripped away I can only isolate the fact that God is all that makes sense,’ you said.
You smiled weakly and for a moment our eyes locked in a moment of recognition. We were so near each other, our souls reaching out, shrouded by a thin veil. We could bicker and fight or take our seat at the center of the continuum; at our most rudimentary we only knew that we were fearful of what we didn’t. You clung to your God and I clung to my art. Something bigger than us that would immortalize our life. I envied your faith and your God’s mission of peace and reconciliation. The mission of my life was less about imbuing it with purpose and more about counteracting what I believed was it’s intrinsic lack of purpose.
I am prone to bouts of crying. My soul often weeps alone, aware of its own isolation, a blip of conscientiousness on rock afloat in the cosmos. It longs to cry ‘my God, my God why have you forsaken me’ for even to be forsaken would necessitate my being seen by God at all. Wouldn’t that be enough? To be seen?
Lying on the floor I give the burden of proof to its rightful owner and say a humble prayer of forgiveness for my skepticism lest anyone is listening. The freedom of agnosticism has a beauty to it; one is simply an open vessel for the truth to be filled by the Creator or to be enriched by the created.