When my middle son was a toddler, and my wife was pregnant with our youngest, I’d get everyone else tucked in, then he and I would sit back in our recliner and pull up episodes of Man vs Wild with Bear Grylls on the iPad until one or both of us fell asleep. In one of them, Bear is swimming in the ocean doing God knows what, and a whale surfaces nearby. He flips out with excitement, and yells a phrase that has stuck with me for years: “What a privilege!”
I’ve found myself saying the same thing while watching a sunset, or being present when something special happens. You see, one of the beautiful things that happens as a result of a deconstruction is an appreciation for the here and now.
“I can see the stars dancing with the moonlight
Hear the strings ringing out in the sunrise
I can feel the rhythm of rain
The weight of everything”
This week in Atheism for Lent has been focused on that direction of critique, like how religion has been used throughout history, intentionally and unintentionally, to maintain oppression in various forms by promising a better life after this one, while neglecting current conditions. How what matters, or at least what we can work with and affect, is here around us. “…the miracle’s already here.”
I honestly don’t have much to add beyond that, because on one level the deeper you go, the less you have to say, but also because this concept is pretty much my whole project. So rather than ramble on through half-baked ideas, I’ll keep them in the oven for now and leave you with the rest of Wonder. I think it captures the tension of looking for something beyond when what’s already in front of us is truly amazing.
Peace and Tenacity,