“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Saturday, August 29, 2009

If Only

A most peculiar tale, "The Scenic Route" (by binnie kirshenbaum) weaving back and forth in time, through the lives of the main character (the narrator) and her family. While the story weaves through several generations it take place primarily during a few months of travel through Europe.

Here is an excerpt of what I read this morning while traveling nowhere on the stationary exercise bike:

"As we lay on that feather bed, my head resting on Henry's shoulder, I asked him, "If you could do your life over, do you think you'd do everything the same?"

"I'd like to say no," he told me, "I'd like to say I'd do plenty of things different, but I can't say that because I need to believe otherwise."

"You need to believe otherwise?"

"Exactly, I need to believe in predetermination. If I acknowledge free will, I'd have only myself to blame. And who could live with that?" he asked.

I am not one to settle easily with the idea of prederminism. I bristle at the idea that "God has a plan" or, "All things happen for a reason." I am fully in the "free-will" spectrum and understand that I make choices, for better or for worse. Granted I always try to make choices that follow what I hope God desires for me, choices that are God focused even as they are also me focused and "other" focused.

Some days the choices and desire to follow them faithfully leaves me breathless, and I think, how simple it would all be to believe that its all predetermined.