July 31, 2010
“I am a blessed woman, yes I am. I’ve met people, seen people and looked through some. I do not hide well. My feelings show on my face. I think I should change but that quality has been mine all of my life. Sometimes I do not communicate well, so many emotions. I get angry. I get annoyed. Met some brilliant folks: actors, vocalists, healers, writers, artists, children, so many, that I know God is real. I am an artist. I cannot help it.” — Jill Scott, “My Life,” The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours
For those of you who’ve followed my blog since June, you’re probably surprised by its lack of recent posts — 11 days without, to be exact. I’d love to say it’s because I’ve been on vacation. Oh, you fortunate souls who get to take those luxurious vacations.
No, I’ve not been on vacation. I’ve been traveling for work. A lot. But for that, I do not apologize. Especially right now. Circumstances are admittedly topsy-turvy around here, but I’m not shaken by them. I’m not saying I’m unaffected by what’s happening; I’m not that brave. But I do have faith like steel. Most days.
As I tread water in these quietly anxious times, I’ve been feeling uninspired to write. While I haven’t been writing, I’ve done an absurd amount of reading others’ blogs. And I’m easily intimidated by them. I’m often dissuaded from continuing this blog thing because I feel I have nothing to teach. But that’s untrue. See? Easily intimidated.
You know when you enter ocean water and that steady sand at your feet suddenly disappears and you’re swallowing a mouthful of saltwater because of an unexpected drop? It’s a risk to even step into the water. Each step could lead to your impending doom and you could potentially drown.
This cycle of thought reminds me of all the years I’ve danced, walking into auditions or master classes only to be freakishly intimidated by the “bun heads” with their branded “I’ve danced here” T-shirts covering their black leotards and pink tights, nibbling tiny bites of apples and sipping their water while on breaks. Me? I always walked in wearing my short hair, a bathing suit, some shorts and pointe shoes, carrying my bag of chocolate doughnuts and soda. I’d stand in the back of the room eyeing like a hawk every soul who walked into the room, and my lips would quiver and my hands would shake I’d be so intimidated.
But what you’re selling isn’t always sold. And I always walk out with a job. I like to think I’m more of an under-seller, over-impresser. I like to sock it to ya when you least expect it. I like to do things my way, “Melissa style.” And I hope you like to do things your way.
We take risks every day. We know there’s a chance that whatever we attempt to do could fail. But we psyche ourselves up with that confidence beast, that fire inside us that says we’re untouchable and our mission has no choice but to succeed.
I’m obsessed with philosophy and studying the way people’s minds work. David Hume is one philosopher I’ve read out of sheer curiosity because a close friend of mine said Hume presented such a strong case against the existence of God. And, given my circumstances, thoughts of Hume’s wrecking ball effect have been dominating my mind lately.
I started this post with a quote from Jill Scott because she both contradicts and confirms David Hume’s theory of knowing nothing but our sense perceptions, what we experience. Scott says because A, B and C, she knows D. It’s her cause and effect. Her billiard balls making contact. However, there is no logical connection. And, of course, she does not actually prove that God is real or how she’s come to this conclusion. She also presupposes a lot, as poets are prone to do, Socrates argued.
But I would argue — and lose in a debate with Hume — that my Christian beliefs, and acceptance of the ideas and impressions of miracles, are enough to acknowledge Scott’s statement. I am the ignoramus who follows for fear of burning in Hell. I choose the afterlife if such a thing really does exist.
But how do we respond when we know that wrecking ball is headed our way? Do we flinch, duck, sprint or stand and let it destroy us?
I know God is real because you’re here. And I know he’s always protected me in the past. So, I choose to stand tall while others choose to topple.