We're on our fourth straight day of rain. The ground can't take any more water, it pools above the grass line forming shallow pools Jack has made his mission to splash about in. It's the kind of gray, cold weather that only comes in early Spring, leaving you feeling tired and cold, not necessarily in a way that's bad, if that makes sense.
In the past month I've started and stopped three different posts. This one was originally titled "Unconvinced" and was an attempt to write through my feelings about religion. Specifically what I believe, and what I want to pass down to my son. For the past few years I've been - I can't find the correct word, so let's use "distressed" - over my inability to explicitly state my faith. I've been reading books tackling various viewpoints (the latest of which is Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great) and if I've discovered anything, it's that as much as I agree about the danger, wickedness and ignorance that permeates much of organized religion, I can't wholly commit to an Atheist viewpoint, and from what I've read Atheists can spit just as much bile as hate as anyone.
I've tried before to work through my beliefs (here and here), but I'm always hesitant; cognizant of the danger I find in others: that they want to influence or convince me that their belief is the right one. My hackles immediately rise whenever I find myself in a conversation where I can sense I'm trying to be converted - whether it's concerning a political view or something as mundane and trite as the merits (or lack thereof) of TRANSFORMERS 2. It's that thinking, that one-way thinking leads to so many of the issues we see: not just in religion, but in politics and every other aspect of our lives. I generally subscribe to the old Dutch proverb "live and let live" sprinkled with some of the tenets of Zen Buddhism: focus on compassion, that sort of thing which sounds fine, but I don't know if I follow these things because, from an Atheist perspective it makes sense, as in "do nice things because in the end other people will do nice things and if we all do nice things it will generally be, well, nice" or because those are the values that were installed in me both by my parents and my Catholic upbringing. It's not something I think I can just decide one way or the other, as in" I hereby do consciously state that I act the way I do because of ________."
Can you simply decide to be something else? I don't know, and I think if I can answer that question I might be able to effect some real lasting change in my life, rather than the start/stop cycle I'm currently in.
This Sunday is Easter, and I'm planning to celebrate with my family. I'd like to think that there's no hypocrisy in celebrating something I don't believe actually happened, and that it's enough to share the day with family, hunt for eggs, eat chocolate and let my son have a ball. But I know that sooner or later I'll have to explain why we celebrate the days we do, and right now I don't know what I'm going to say.