Friday, January 14, 2011


A Determinist’s View of Miracles (and maybe faith)
I believe that I have the tools to shape my own destiny; that my life is in my own two hands and not bobbing on a sea of luck and chance and random events. I know that luck (good or ill) has nothing to do with how I came to be where I am. I am aware that mythical creatures are just that: mythical. I get it that refraction and droplets and angles and pollution and light (and other science stuff) coalesce to create a spectacular sunrise. I have never felt at the mercy of (or for that matter particularly comforted by) the will of a supreme being (and yet, in those desperate moments when even hope seems to have abandoned my own small self, I find my eyeballs rotated franticly upwards peering at the inside of my skull and hear my own tight thoughts saying “please, please, please! Let her, me, it, everything be all right.” and I haven’t a clue who [or what] I’m petitioning.)
Does anybody else remember the Burt Reynolds movie where he thinks he’s going to drown and as he swims for shore he’s promising God “if I make it Lord I’ll give 90% of everything I make to charity” and as he gets closer the percentage gets lower till he finally stumbles onto shore saying “10% Lord, like I said 10%”? I find myself thinking about Burt’s character often in those eyes rotated moments. Good ol’ Burt kind of keeps me honest.
I believe in Karma (well, I think I believe in the 1960’s “hey man it all comes back in the Karma…what goes around comes around” version of Karma. I’d have to do some research to find out how close that is to the actual, really Karma so for our purposes here we’ll call it Karma and I’ll do the research later) in that if you do good then good is created and (eventually) comes back. I believe that the infamous squished (or flighted) butterfly meeting its own destiny on a windshield (and here good ol’ physics comes into our story: Car at top speed meets said butterfly and well, squish; car parked outside Starbucks and butterfly impacts the world in a whole ‘nother way.) ) may truly be the unforeseen beginning of my own apparent luck (good or ill) but that it’s how I react to it that will matter.
Yup, these are the things I believe but what do I want?
I want miracles and magic and dragons and serendipity and, and, and I want know that yeast is all science-y but accept that bread is a little tiny miracle.