I received an email today in response to one I sent from a blogger upon hearing some devastating news. I've only been following for a few months. She's amazing. She receives a lot of adoration via comments but that's not really my style. She's eloquent, articulate, funny and so, so, nice I resisted commenting on her blog for a while because I thought nobody could be quite that lovely. But after a few emails. Yep. She is.
Her family is going through a total crisis. And it all crashed down on her within a week. She's not the only one but at this point in time, she's in dire straits.
Her nephew has just had his stomach and a large chunk of his oesophegus removed due to a sudden and devastating lymphoma that refused to stop bleeding. He's 25 years old. The same age as my daughter. Can you imagine! Her sister has just undergone surgery for an aggressive brain tumour which she didn't even know she had and she herself survives inflammatory breast cancer above all odds. So here's the question . . Why in these times do we turn to God, Manon, Spirit Guides . Karma . . Angels . . .Am I the only person on the planet who hasn't any spirituality at all. I'll try anything but I don't really believe. When things go wrong, I appeal to a God in whom I don't believe. How does that work?
Where are they? How do these spiritual things help? I'm not being provocative here because if I felt an ounce of spirituality it would be channelled towards this woman and millions of others who suffer. I WANT to feel spiritual. I'm inviting it but it doesn't come.
I'm convinced there's no interventionist God. There are no guardian angels . . there are no spirit guides. There is no pale-bearded face watching us humans from a Boticellian shell while we breed like a pandemic virus and scurry around our destructive business. God as a concept to me has nothing to do with organised religion. It's a word to explain the inexplicable. That which is beyond our comprehension.
There is a consciousness that humans have developed and that's what separates us from 'lower' life forms. I use the term loosely as I've seen a bird mourn it's poor car-hit partner for days so don't tell me it doesn't comprehend the concept of death and separation. Yet we arrogant humans believe that WE are God. We invented the concept. And in middle class Western Europe we've made a career of it. We control people with it, we start wars over it . .we even thank God for our Academy Awards and we've made a business out of it.
For some reason God only helps humans and the 'particularly' middle class, financially viable people from my view. Or provides comfort to the abjectly poor in the favellas and third world because they need a glimmer of hope to which they can cling. Few in the west grieve the 11 out of 12 ducklings who meet their fate before their third day when they hatch inside my pool enclosure every year. Nobody gives a flying fuck about disenfranchised Zimbabweans or Somalis because they live in a God-forsaken (forgive the pun) place. Nobody cares about the plight of North Koreans who are starving and cold whilst their Dictator postures with nuclear weapons. No-one really gives a rats arse about Afghanistan and the bhurka clad women begging in puddles on the street because they were denied education and have no man to provide for them. Nobody gave a shit about Pol Pot and his genocidal tendencies 30 years after the Holocaust. Nobody has time for the drug addicts who won't help themselves or the beggar on the corner of Pitt and George because he sits there with a sign describing his plight instead of getting off his arse and volunteering or trying to get a job.
And frankly, nobody gives a bugger about fucking over the planet of which we have nominated ourselves to become custodians, yet rape for profit and self-aggrandisement.
I'm not pointing fingers here because right now, I'm sitting in the comfort of my own home, in front of a PC talking to people all over the world with a dog at my feet that eats better than any Rwandan child and a heater burning a hole in my chair. I am guilty. So, so guilty. My family are well educated, well fed, well loved. We are dry, fat, warm and healthy.
I'm really crazy mad about this stuff today. Life is fragile, we are a destructive organism bent on over-indulgence and we're killing each other and the planet through war and diseases that were hitherto unknown 200 years ago - lifestyle disease. Or maybe people just died of these afflictions and we didn't know how to diagnose them.
We are the cancer and then we wonder why God treats us badly, hurts good people, let's unfortunates suffer and yet lets ingrates like Madoff and Murdoch and a plethora of other rip- off merchants and arms dealers, so-called captains of industry and unscrupulous politicians succeed.
It's a lottery folks. There is no control no matter how much we yearn for it, no matter how we try to capture it, no matter how many self-help groups we attend or positive affirmations we make. Shit happens and for no particular reason and with a randomness that surpasses selecting lottery numbers.
We don't control our lives or our future . .it just happens. I'm sure there's a philosophical name for this chaos that surrounds us . .Chaos theory perhaps? Or is it the Butterfly Effect?
Whatever . . .we are born, we struggle, some more than others and then we die and many of us have a great time in-between, more of us live abominably short and painful lives.
This particular family, and I'm sure there are millions like them, are close, warm, loving, God fearing, appreciative yet suffering along with others they don't even know.
So . contrary to my spiritual beliefs or lack of them, please draw on whatever your beliefs might be and say prayers, have a coning ceremony, send karma and healing, draw on your spirit guides do what you can . . but for me . . all I can do is email and provide comfort. It's a sad but integral part of life. Life is beautiful, harsh, endearing, amazing, devastating, painful, labouring, leisurely, magnificent and terrible!
My thoughts are with her. My empathy gland is working overtime but I have no higher court to which I can appeal. All I can do is email and wish I could help her with the mundane- the ironing, the cooking, the cleaning, things she doesn't need to worry about between hospital visits and I'm sure her friends are doing this for her.
Frankly I don't know ho we as a race have lasted this long but for Renee I have enormous, compassion, empathy and feeling so why do I feel like an animal documentary producer who doesn't intervene because it will spoil the integrity of my Big Cat Diary?
Because I don't know what intervention will cure her woes. I don't know how to help. I don't know how to project healing. I don't know how to warm her heart and chase her fear. I can't draw on my own spirituality. Frankly, I don't know what to do for a myriad of people who suffer like her. I just DONT KNOW and it's terrible. I want an interventionist God and a guardian angel. I want to believe that there is more and that suffering will end for those who endure it . .I just can't see it . .