Thursday, February 19, 2004

I feel like the last few days I've become so immersed in my thoughts about religion that I've seen the world around me a little less. Yesterday I walked home early and the sun was gleaming strands of light through the branches of the trees, just slightly blinding me from the view of south Jerusalem below. Yet I felt unable to be there and there alone, so tangled and involved were my thoughts, twisting themselves into theological knots.

I don't like feeling less in the world.

This afternoon I had the dubious pleasure of studying the beautiful poetry of Psalm 92 to the slightly less beautiful sounds of defiant settler songs, coming from the huge protest around the corner. When I left to walk home at 6.30, the protesters were still there in their hundreds, demonstrating against the proposed evacuation of settlements in the Gaza Strip. Two weeks ago I'm sure I would have felt more present. Sure, the protest would still have offended my politics, but at least I would have felt the energy & the colour and maybe smiled my bemusement. Hell, even anger would have been a reaction to being there.

Two weeks ago I'd have been happy to speculate that religion is supposed to bring us closer to reality as it is. Now I'm more wary of saying religion is supposed to do this or do that, especially when the sentence construction I come out with can so easily be seen as selfish or self-projecting.

But surely, surely, religion isn't supposed to take us away from the world?

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