The Matchbook Diaries


We are the agents of love in the world.  If other living things have a soul, and maybe some do, then they love too.  Our cat, Dan, with his long, eye to eye contact, certainly makes a good argument for animals having a soul, but it is pointless to debate this, as of course no one knows.  I do know that we have a soul, and because of this endowment, we are capable of miracles, of extraordinary acts.  Our hearts are connected to a limitless infinity that can, at will, overturn any law governing this world.  I sought out God because I lived with predators, and I was usually the prey of choice.  I wanted to attach myself to something that had at least a chance of overcoming this obstacle in my life.  While my original purpose was about safety, my lifelong experience has been about liberty and power.  It is unfortunate that God is portrayed as a means for comfort and solace at the expense of the other benefits and gifts of God – empowerment, clarity, and strength.

The God I have spent my 53 years studying created us for purposes I cannot fathom, but certainly one of those was to know, and to be known.  Human faculties mimic the layers of God, God being both substance and spirit, both creator and begetter.  We have sight, hearing, and the ability to feel.  We have cognition.  We can smell and taste.  Our capacity is limited by our own prejudice and inconceivable blindness.  Nevertheless, we can still have some understanding of what God is.  God doesn’t need eyes to see or ears to hear as those organs would be limited. God cannot be, by definition, limited.  God knows.  This encompasses the entirety of God’s reach.  I can probe and examine and ferret out whatever little bits I wish to understand over the course of my life, but of course my massive appetite for truth and my insatiable desire for love produce in my heart an iota of wisdom at best.  Recently I learnt, in my own studies, that a yoda (also called iota) is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and I had a glorious aha moment about Mr. Lucas’ character in Star Wars.

Because I was held behind fiscal and literal walls for years as a prisoner for most of my childhood, I developed childish ways to subvert the control of my captor.  In my free time, usually after recovering from some particularly violating assault, I drew the house of my dreams.  I drew the same basic house for years.  It had a big garden with hanging plants, inside, and a huge, sparkling pool.  The central feature of my fantasy house was that it was made entirely of glass.  My thought, then, was that there could be no evil in such a place, no hiding; such a house would be a safe one for me.  As an adult I know that nothing and no one is hidden.  There is, while I am in this form, the dangerous option of pretending that I have secrets from God.  I do not.  There is nothing finite in God, there are no limits. While some people may see a reason to try to convince a nonbeliever that God exists, this seems to me to be a waste of time.

Despite our limitations, we as human beings posit that there are infinities.  If there are infinities, this fact, for me, is certainly evidence that something inconceivable to me conceived the world where I live.  Regardless, what matters is not, is there a God?  What matters is, if there is a God, how do I use that, how is that truth meaningful for me?  I could care less about a God who is of no use to me.  During a very difficult period of my life I kept hearing in my heart the phrase, Be still and know that I am God.  One night, when I was sitting in darkness, crying from the assault of my own memories and attached shame, I understood.  It was too simple, hiding in plain sight.  The thing in my heart that speaks to me, that shows me beauty and truth that I cannot perceive alone, that thing is God.  God is in me.  This is what I need to know.  God is  – this is not enough.  God loves – this is not particularly useful.  God loves me and is in me – from this truth emanates liberty and the power.

The joy of being a child of God is that I am constantly delighted by God’s ability to reveal to me those things which I so desperately wish to know.  The only gift I can return to God is to demonstrate how I see the world, to exhaust all my strength to know, and to make known, that which makes my own heart sing.  Surely this was a part of God’s purpose in making me – to give God another perspective, another way to delight in the limitless joy of creation.

It breaks my heart watching believers contort themselves trying to please God by punishing their body or otherwise castrating their flesh to appease or atone. If God exists, then it doesn’t take much thought to consider that we are made not for God to judge, not for God to control, but for the pleasure of God, to multiply God’s already inconceivable joy.  So as I fumble around the world, fucking shit up constantly, doing embarrassing and even wrong things, I know that whatever scraps of beauty I manage to see, to produce, no matter how absurd or flawed my creations may be, these things I do are my purpose, and nothing more is expected from me other than that I fight to the end of my days to express the beauty that I am uniquely made to see.