(Mother and Son Reunion, early work image for The Barking Wall, 2010)
I think I only really asked for one miracle ever in my life, it was for my parents to sell their condo and not to have two montages. They had found a beautiful little plantation house for the right money, and couldn't let it get away, they just had to buy it, and so they did, and put their place-at-the-time on the market. It remained on that market for two years, maybe even longer, I just remember it being a long time, and that the word, recession, was in everyone's mouths. I prayed on most nights, even the nights I came home stumbling drunk, I sobered up to have a one-sided conversation with God, asking him, like I did the night before to give my parents a miracle.
Eventually it reached a point where I wasn't sure anymore, things in the regular scheme of life show signs of change within a year or so, it was well over a year, and I kept at it, avoiding being a negatron about the whole thing. My mother would call me, tell me how bad it was, how the broke got broker, and how she and my father were working their asses off, literally. In my prayers I usually say the same thing, asking for my folk's condo to be lifted off of their shoulders, and to take care of those I care the most for (my parents, the rest of my family, my close friends), and ask to say hi to some people I know up there (heaven), how they were doing. When I think back at it, when I was doing all the praying, I wonder now, in retrospect, what I really thought about putting my hands together and thinking, clearing my mind and directing my thoughts to nowhere, somewhere, idontknow. If I pray today I feel the same, there is a bit of uncertainty, but just as much certainty as well, and that whether or not a miracle did happen for my parents when their condo sold, or if there is a God or gods, I will never know (at least, in this life time). The whole thing is a mystery, leaving me alone just as much as I have been all my life. It is the fact I am completely neutral I find no need to change, to believe or not believe, for there is no advantage or disadvantage being in this state. I could never stand church, in Junior High and Middle school when my mother would occasional ask me to go with her, I'd sleep with my head in her lap, it was an Episcopal church, they're not a lot of people in there, everyone was chilled out, the priest was always funny, so no one ever paid me much mind if I was sleeping.
When I moved from the bible belt of the south to Toronto years back I remember going from knowing a lot of religious people to knowing none, it was then I became very neutral. I never really presented myself ever as religious, or even as a God-believing person, then again I'm not really quite sure how one does that, look like Ned Flanders in green cardigans and maintain a perfectly meaty moustache? I once tried to go to church here, it was two seconds from my place at the time, it was this baptist church in the middle of chinatown, they sang gospel. And to spite it being mono-racial, I didn't necessarily feel out of place, or uncomfortable, I felt closer to them than any other church I had been to. I didn't know any of the words they were singing, I lipped once and while, and stood or sat when everyone else was standing or sitting. At the end of ceremony I left the same way I came, without a word, and I never went back. That was the only time I ever went to church on my own will, just to experience it, and when I experienced it, once was good enough, it was fresh enough to keep me around, but I could see nothing more in continuously going.
I often wonder what the future will be like, if I have kids, will I start going to church, simply because that's what my mother did, and simply because we all turned out pretty good, none of us turned into nasty people, crime-committing evil-doers, we care, and at least until we were old enough to decide if there is a god or not, we were never really alone. Alone. Maybe that's it, the thing that holds me to a deity, is that, to spite how separated, how alienated I become, I will never be completely alone, there is a god within me, keeping me together, keeping some sense of hope alive, like coming home and there always being a warm fire, on some days being just amber but still there. I have a strong sense of self, but even that can be destroyed, knocked out by a storm temporarily, and instead of falling into an endless pit of despair I have the illusion of something, something being there, a light of guidance, showing me there is a future. This is all ridiculous, this is all nonsense, but even all of my experience and all of my acknowledgement of future can be rendered useless, I know after heart break, after everything goes to shit that I will recover, things will get better, and that I will mend and recreate, step up, and climb the ladder, I will return, stronger, and that this has happen over and over, time after time, and that this will always continue to happen sodealwithit, I know THIS, but even that can be useless. In a place where I know my feelings are illusions as well, a chemical response to the state I am in, that I am machine, my body feels this way because of this, that, and that it is a mechanical reaction, that something that happened without my control of it, knowing that I have no control of the sequence of events nor my feelings, there is comfort in knowing it is just a reaction, but sometimes the feelings, the chemistry is too strong of a poison, and all my experience and all my knowledge is not good enough to keep me from falling completely apart. What then? I fall to religion, I fall to this god which exists within me, and it is blind-faith, the strongest illusion, that overrides feeling hopeless, lost, and alone. This may or may not for others, and I could care less, what people do, if they choose to believe in something or not, and that in the end, once the shit hits the fan all we got, all I got is myself, and whatever else remains, is an illusion, something, a mist, a cloud, a fog, a transparency, a miracle, a nothing, something that cannot be explained, something left undone, something something, something that is something, not a void, not a lack of, but something. I got that. I got that, at least.
After the universe expands to its limits it will eventually (in theory) contract, and return to a singular point, once everything is undone, everything is compressed into a vacuum, and all is gone, there remains one thing, a singularity, just one point, everything that was anything in one point, and perhaps it isn't a god, or anything that could be given a name or a definition, but just a singular point in the middle of the universe surrounded by a nothing that isn't even nothing it just doesn't exist. It is something I will never see with my own eyes, something that is only a theory, an idea, a thought provoking thought, spoken, written, and given to anyone to believe or not to believe, changing very little about your life, and changing it all like a table being turned violently underside down and thrown against the ground hard, and the ground itself gives in, and everything around it falls into a darkness that swallows everything. Destruction, chaos, peace, harmony, angels singing Aquarius, beams of light piercing the clouds, halos, levitation, walking over water, once-blindness now clarity, miracles happen everyday.
Can you hear that, not the music you're listening to, or the people chattering behind you, not the sound of traffic, not the sound of wind, or objects hitting the floor, nor birds chipping, the cat's meow, the dog's bark, the couple in the apartment above having passionate-sounding sex, none of that, can you hear nothing, can you hear the void of your soul, that static linger, the hum of your body, when you are not thinking, when you are free of distractions, and notice it has always been there, living between the noises of your everyday, your very thoughts, and will continue to be there, it is the space above our heads, below our feet, it is absolutely everything, it is neither god nor human, it is just, just, just, that something, we can give it a name, we can rise buildings in its name, it doesn't make it any stronger, nor does it give it a life in which can be taken away and die, it was here before us, after us, and will always remain. Can you hear this?