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God is the swaying of branches in the wind.
Okay, so maybe God is more than that. But—
God is in the ripples of a pond.
I don’t believe that nature alone contains God
or that outdoors is the only place to seek divinity –
inside the right kind of church
I feel love radiating from stained glass
and hymn numbers
and for me, family is the Friday night prayers on Shabbat,
sung low in Hebrew
with a guitar softly strumming accompaniment.
I am touched by the inspiration of the world when I look on architecture,
from the age of Roman temples
to the majesty of pyramids
to the beauty of sugar-spun minarets.
I feel love during Solstice
because of its heady warmth on summer nights by a fire,
the way I feel connected to everything
while playing Kakilambe on my djembe.
I feel life when singing songs in relatively minor chords
with soaring phrases that make my heart beat faster
and I feel peace when I have just laid down in bed
after a long day, book in hand,
thankful for peace.
I love the world when there is good news
from the newspapers (OBAMA WINS 2008 ELECTION!)
from my family (Your sister won first place!)
from my friends (ur crush just ttly txted u! omg!)
and I often hate it during the bad:
when people are newly starving, dying, being killed, killing
or when I remember that this is not always new news
when someone close to me is dead or lost
when I feel let down by someone I trusted.
I feel like I understand just a little bit more
when I solve a complicated proof
and I am ready to contribute to the world
with each bit of knowledge that I gain.
I love God when I learn about Bokononism
or about Candide
when reading something excellent
or acting my heart out,
debating heatedly and intelligently,
playing the piano and not tripping up over its smooth arctic keys,
thinking to myself in soft meadows.
God is dandelions swaying in the wind.
Often I don’t believe in God,
because honestly it makes no sense to me
and I have a sneaking sense that there is nothing after death
and other times I believe in a Goddess
I made up for myself in fifth grade
as a way of personifying the world.
I do not believe in an exclusive God.
I do not believe in a God who hates those who do not like him,
who punishes those who ignore her,
who kills those who take its name in vain
because either God is human or not,
and if God were human then that behavior would be abhorrent
and if not God should know better.
I love the soft line of black ink
of a Hebrew letter on age-old parchment
just as much as I love modern-day Arabic crossing the TV
just as much as I love the looping letters of old cursive English
just as much as I love the words I write darting across my computer screen.
I do not believe
in blind belief.
I do not believe
in good or evil.
I believe in sunrise and sunset,
in beauty and in grace,
in knowledge and in art,
in love and in life,
and in the infinite capability of humans