Look, guys, it’s midnight and I’m reading poetry, so it’s time for me to be emotional about how much I love the entire planet and everything and everyone on it and everything not on it. The entire universe, as a concept, the infinity of space and time. I love?? everything?? Like. Come on.
I’m not religious. I’m spiritual, and I have a pretty solid sense of things that are sacred, but there isn’t a religion that I’ve found yet that has managed to wrap up the holiness of the universe and present it to me in an easily digestible format. Maybe that’s impossible. Maybe I’ll figure out something along the way. For right now, most of my religious beliefs go like this:
The act of gardening and growing is sacred, nurturing new life and bending nature to our whims. The smell of soil and crushed mint leaves on a concrete balcony at dawn, wind-chill and the watering can in your hand making your fingers white with the bite of cold metal, drops of frigid water splashing up, a tiny green life where there shouldn’t be any.
Stories are sacred, too. There are a hundred different versions of every fairy tale you can think of, in a hundred different cultures. What is it about Cinderella that we find so universally fascinating? Even when it’s simplified down to rags-to-riches, there’s a structure and a rhythm that calls to us. Of course writing is full of tropes and cliches! That’s how people communicate!
When people talk to inanimate objects or their pets like people, very serious and reasoning. Our irrational attachment to stuffed animals and colors and animals that do nothing for us and fictional characters. Humans are so full of love. We’ll love anything if it sits still long enough, and I think that’s magnificent.
Wild animals are so utterly fascinating. They have an existence that doesn’t overlap with mine at all, except when I manage to catch a glimpse of them. I went wading in the shallows with narrow, grave-faced leopard sharks once and it was like seeing unicorns. They’re just doing their own thing, being wild predators, but in the same space as me. It was one of the most impactful and delightful things to have happened to me.
The entire concept of justice and democracy and equality. The fact that we looked at the world and said “this seems like a place full of kindness and things that are fair” and then worked so desperately hard to make it true. And we have! And we are! And we get better every day. Humans aren’t inherently perfect, but we want to be and we try to be, and I think that’s better. I can love someone flawed and trying to be better more than someone flawless who’s never had to try, which is probably why I don’t get along well with most gods.
Humans will try anything. We’re full of curiosity. “What does this do?” we ask, as we repeatedly push the big red button that says “DO NOT PUSH.” We take the universe to pieces to see how it works, and there’s entire fields of study where people try to figure out how their brains work and how other peoples’ brains work. We are so hungry for knowledge.
BASICALLY HUMANS ARE WONDERFUL AND THE UNIVERSE IS BEAUTIFUL AND SHOULD BE PROTECTED AND I LOVE EVERYTHING EVEN THOUGH I’M SAD A LOT. MY BRAIN CHEMICALS ARE BAD SOMETIMES BUT I STILL LOVE YOU.
Good night, denizens of the void! It’s been nice YELLING ABOUT MY FEELINGS at you.