Sunday, June 27, 2004

So many religions, so little time (III)

I showed up today to take S. and her sister to the Air and Space Museum. There was an adult there and S. told me that she could not come. She had to work. I didn't want to insist too much, proselytizing for science instead of religion. A. has won his bet.

We talked for a while and she asked me if I believed in God. I had to tell her the truth, that no, I didn't. I saw in her face that she was hurt and pained by my answer. Her little sister ran away from the discussion that followed. I was not trying to convince S. that she was wrong. I wanted her to understand that I respected her belief and that she had to respect mine. That, in a way, I was a "religious atheist". Someone who truly and deeply believes that God does not exist. The same way there are people who believe the inverse.
The discussion that followed dealt with the meaning of life with and without God. It was a magnificent day, warm and sunny but breezy and fresh and I was there enjoying every single moment of it. Enjoying the sun like a little animal, far from God and the meaning of life...

As we were finishing the discussion, she pointed to a small poster on the board at the entrance of the booth. "Read my poem" she ordered. I did so reluctantly fearing the worst. I am surprised and saddened by what I read. Surprised because it is very good and saddened because it becomes clear as I read her words that she looks at the world with her eyes opened but refuses to acknowledge it completely. The poem is brutal with a nice and loving ending. A complete contradiction.
She asks me for my address and I gave it her after making her promise that she would not send me any of the church literature but only her own writings.

When I talked to A. about it, he is upset that she could not make it to the museum. Upset to know that she was probably not allowed to and that she resigned herself to this life. He thinks that unknowingly I have become her life line. A presence of the "outside world" that could help her breath in her cage.
I hope he is wrong. As romantic as it may seem, I don't want to be the life line of a lost young woman.


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