Fifty Questions

Image courtesy: Dita Havlova, Saatchi Arti


The thing about writing is that it requires you to look inside your head. Sometimes, I don’t want to look inside my head: I’ve been doing that for the better part of two decades and I haven’t always liked what I’ve found. There was a time this year when I was quite content with myself, my life, my immediate environment, and I didn’t want to miss out on that contentment by introspection. And then things got messy and I needed a distraction so I wouldn’t think of the mess, and writing does just the opposite; forces you to face and consider what is wrong.

At the moment, I’m somewhere between those two states; as close to neutral as I’ll ever be and my friend keeps bugging me to update my blog, so here I go.

There is so much I don’t know. I am often overwhelmed by the immensity of my ignorance. What am I doing here? On earth, alive? How long will I be here?  Is there heaven? Is there hell? Who’s going where? Why do people believe that a book of Jewish history and literature is the word of God? Or that the Jewish carpenter Jesus son of Mary is the son of God? What does “son of God” even mean? Is any of this important? Why? How? Where did evil come from? What do we do about it? Should we do anything about it? Can we change the fact that there is evil in the world? If not should we even bother trying?

Why do we want things we can’t have? Why do men lead women on? Why do men lie? Why do men not keep their promises? Why do men abandon their families? If I get married, how will I know if my husband is honest? How do I know he won’t abandon me and my children when he feels like it? If I don’t have the answers to these questions should I go ahead and get married? Isn’t that gambling?

If I have a child, will they be good? Will they be evil? How much of my effort would determine the answer to these questions? Are some people born evil? Is everyone born evil? Am I evil for thinking bad thoughts? Am I only evil if I act on the bad thoughts? Where does sadness come from? Why would a loving, good God allow sadness to exist in the world?

Why do I like music so much? Why do I like some music and not others? Why do I like reading so much? Why do I like some books and not others? Why is it so hard sometimes to act? I literally feel like my joints have lead in them and I can’t move. Why does that happen to me? Does that happen to other people? Is life some cosmic accident? Is there Someone behind it all? Will we meet this Someone? After we die? When will I die? How will I die? Would I be better off dead? Why are most people afraid of death? Is there something wrong with me because I’m not afraid of dying?

Will my questions ever be answered? When? How?

Some days, I wish I could switch off my brain.

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