Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I come again, and again, to the idea of faith. A great step in my development, simple though it should have been, was to understand that faith is just another word for trust. They seem so different. Trust seems personal. Faith seems abstract. But they're the same thing. Might have to do with the grammar of it. We don't faith something, but we trust it. Faith isn't a stand alone verb -- it needs helpers, have faith in. An aspect perhaps of its philosophical rather than tangible quality. Faith may be betrayed, but trust is betrayed.

I've trusted people, as the word is used, trust. Part of the problem is that we don't notice all the non-betrayals. We don't notice the air in our lungs. Taken for granted. But the betrayals -- stigmata, perpetually bleeding wounds, yes, caused by faith, miraculous in their unexpectedness. Thus, I am divorced. How did that happen. I don't get divorced. In the courtroom, when the judge signed the papers, dissolution pronounced, I asked, "So that's it? I'm divorced?" "Yes," he said. And I wept, slightly, only a mist, over a marriage that had died in spirit years before. Somehow, somewhere, there must have been a betrayal. A lack of faithfulness.

So when it comes to me to trust again, well, of course we do. There is no viciousness, no corruption, not even thoughtlessness. There is only, sometimes, a lack of resolve, like a fiance backing out of the marriage. All for the best, we suppose, in the long run. Infirm of purpose. But still.

For those who are true, to be doubted is an offence. We have our pride. But maturity accommodates the experience of the other. And from the other side, it's not that we need to give endless assurances. Just some assurance.

As I take pains to repeat, I am a fool, and stupidly loyal, and self-destructive in my general regard for truth. This is abnormal. So I can't and do not expect it from others. But it makes it hard for me to be unguarded in my expectations.

It's been on my mind. Something I've left unsaid, like a long stretch of silence. But you wouldn't understand. Because I'm the only one who ever feels this way.


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