"Like love lost, you've got to try even in vain." - Noisettes, Atticus
"She says she's athiest, Jason, but what religion are you," she asked.
"I'm a fan of all religions but I'm a member of none."
I had several interesting conversations with The Lady's mom about faith and religion from the spiritual to the metaphorical to the historical but it's this exchange that I've been thinking about since I left Greensboro. I had mentally prepared myself for the kinds of questions that parents who are surveying the man in their daughter's life ask but, for some reason, I hadn't thought about this one.
Religion hasn't played a part in our relationship beyond our lack of it and our mutual academic fascination with it. This query, however, begs for me to clarify—if not for mama and papa Brown then, at least, for myself—what I believe.
As I said, I'm a fan of many religions. I know the positive impact organized religion can have on someone's life. My grandmother is the epitome of christian virtue; my father is a better man with G-d in his life; the overwhelmingly positive experience of Jewish conversion on Michelle's life has been inspiring; I have cousins who would otherwise be dead if not for the church replacing their drug addiction with a fiendish attachment to salvation. And beyond, I know churches and synagogues and mosques and temples are often the only places that care for those of us with the least. I'm a fan of religion done right.
I'm just not a member.
Religion is ultimately about faith. About believing in something without any empirical evidence of its existence. The only thing I truly believe in without knowing it exists is the future. Is possibility. It's the idea that with every moment, we have the opportunity to be better than we were before. To do more. To change.
To be great.
To do great things.
To start all over again.
I cherish that opportunity. That thing just around the corner. The infinite unknown.
I celebrate it.
I have faith in it.
I live in the now but I believe in the next.