Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In the Absence of God

Lately I've been wondering what the meaning of life is. doesn't that sound cliche? but it's true. I was a sort of christian for awhile when i was a child. i never believed in hell but i believed in heaven and God. I used to pray every night, it was such a bizarre prayer though because it was a litany of all my paranoias and fears, i remember a part of it went like this: "And please don't let mom die of AIDS and don't let there be an earthquake in the year 2000 that knocks the earth out of orbit" and I ended the prayer with "in your holy, sweet name i pray, amen." but one day when i was in 6th grade and i was at a restaurant with family, i was just seriously bummed that day, i was the #1 punching bag in my junior high that year and was actually suicidal, i realized there was no god, and i stopped praying that day.
it's been part of my identity for a long time to be someone who "hates christians." i don't really hate them, but when i was in high school and was a weirdo i was called a devil worshiper a lot and harassed really badly about it, so my reactions to that (like, things i'd write in my zine) made people be like "boy, that robin sure hates christian proselytizing."
anyway, all that information is by way of saying that i can't believe in a christian heaven as the meaning of life, because i'm repulsed by all things christian. i'm interested in jewish culture, & often play up my "jewish side" (my dad's family is jewish, my mom's family is catholic), but ... my jewish interest is in woody allen & shit like that, not in the religious aspect of being jewish. i'm not at all religious.
one day when i was driving i had what seemed like an epiphany, that reincarnation is real, and i felt so happy when that thought hit me, and for a long time i believed in reincarnation, but i grew out of that a few years ago.

i try to be an existentialist, because to me (i know there are die hard existentialists that could correct my understanding of it), existentialism means accepting the present tense as the most important thing and making the best out of it. i had more fun calling myself an existentialist when i was younger though, because it was my way of .... euphemistically speaking...partying too hard, without feeling guilty, because i was living in the moment. the concept of existentialism lost its allure for me, though. i don't even try to read Nietzsche or Sartre or blah blah blah now, even though those books are at my fingertips, on my husband's shelves in our bookshelf.

i lived in philly from 2006-2008 and those were really my kurt vonnegut years, i think i read his novels practically every day i was in philly, and thanks to all that vonnegutness (i did my thesis on him, to boot), i am now slightly inclined to say i'm a "secular humanist."
but i'm really nothing. i don't really "believe" in anything.
when i was younger i used to have all sorts of epiphanies about what the meaning of life was, it had to do with experiencing beauty, etc., but not coincidentally, these epiphanies coincided with my time at college, my first time experiencing "freedom" and not for nothing, my first time experiencing getting stoned.

it just seems to be bad days heaped on top of bad days lately. i forget to ponder. i forget to be special. and i don't have any tagline for the meaning of life. what do you think is the meaning of life?


  1. I don't have the answer to your question. I think that everyone has their own meaning. I am still trying to find my meaning and I am enjoying the search. For me a Christian God and being appreciative for all that I have each day, good or bad, is where I start.

    I am sad that you have struggled so much lately and I can understand those being the times when this question is most difficult to answer. While we aren't as close as we were when we were young, I do know something about you that is meaningful to me. You have always been undeniably spiritual. Your spitiuality has been unique to you and it is something that I admired. I think that you will find it again, whatever form it takes.