Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Job Job Job Job Job

 You probably think I'm going to talk about my work. I'm not. I'm going to talk about Job the person. The one from the bible.
In English we read the bible book of Job and now we're reading "J.B." by Archibald MacLeish. So far, my favorite part of the play is when one character says "You are a bitter man" and the other replies "I taste of the earth". Ohhhhhhhhhh! Shivers.
So we've been talking a lot about the question "why do bad things happen to good people?" If you have an answer, let me know. Or not even an answer, maybe just a belief. Or a theory. I'll even take a hypothesis. An idea? Surely you have an idea. As it says in the play "there's always someone playing Job." We're all Job. Bad things happen to all of us and we have to find some way to make peace and continue on. How have you made it this far?
[Seriously though, comment on this one, God Damnit]
Another teacher (my current favorite) said to me the other day "Everything happens for a reason" and I chewed her out, because quite frankly, I don't buy that in the slightest. So yesterday she said to me, "I've been thinking about what you said and I don't mean that everything happens for a reason, I mean that the universe is not random."
So I've been pondering a lot. And I've come to this perhaps cynical conclusion:
I don't believe there is meaning or order to the way things happen in this world. I don't think God makes bets nor do I believe some huge karma-like power governs the universe. I happen to believe that everything is random. BUT, I believe growth comes out of experiences. No, I don't think everyone's life is hand-tailored or even universe-tailored to happen to them. I guess I just feel that if I am open to learning from whatever it is this "dung heap" of a world throws at me, then I'll turn out quite alright in the end. I've learned from the good and the bad things that happened to me, and I could have learned just as much from the good and bad things that happened to my neighbor 4 houses down. Yes, I am who I am because of the life I've lived, but who's to say I wouldn't be just a great if I'd had a different life. As much as I want to see myself as this exceptional product of the universe, I'm a common person. I'm not that irreplicatable. Knowing that I can grow in whatever random turns my life takes is enough hope to get me out of bed in the morning. So suck on that Job.

ps. I got into the India trip. YAY!


  1. I think if you begin with the idea that life is suffering, then you can appreciate the moments, days, months when there is joy--like finding out you're going to India.

    You don't have to be a believer to know that life is about learning to love each other despite the irritations, flaws and "otherness." It's about engaging with people and learning from them. People who don't learn this are truly miserable.

    I'm writing at 1:14 AM--not a time for brilliance.

    The story of Job is fictional, of course. I cannot read aloud the King James version of "I know that my Redeemer liveth . . ." without my voice going wobbly.
    It's the finest poetry bar none.

  2. Have you read THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG? Stop everything and get it NOW.