Daily Prompt: In Good Faith

I lost my faith in London summer 2012. It was a heady time. I would be gone for 6 full weeks and visiting my brother’s family during the Olympics.  On a whim I went to an astrologer who informed me to send my book out again to publishers on June 28th. Every psychic I ever spent money on (never more than $35 though) told me I was going to be a famous writer and married soon; both of which had yet to come to fruition even if I continue to be ambivalent about domesticity. So I had great faith in a positive outcome.

Then my sister-in-law’s wifi went down the morning of the 28th. I ran to the Starbucks near Kensington station to send my book early enough so New York would have it by the time they entered the office. It was a repeat of two Christmases ago when I sat in my studio apartment sending off my queries for a festive thirty-six hours. A flood of no’s deluged my inbox despite the holiday. It was not the best way to spend an already lonely Christmas. Still, I had responses and even met with a third tier publisher in person whose only advice was to build a social media following.

Fast forward a year and a half later I sat at that table until the tourists morphed into new people each time I looked up from my own little literary world. I was desperate for good news and on edge from the anticipation. Someone had to say yes I thought, please just say yes or I’d take a perhaps. That night we went to see my youngest niece in a play when I received a phone call. A few days before leaving the country I went to see a specialist about a patch of hair that was thinning out more than the rest of my scalp. Thinking this was my big break I rushed outside only to find out the test results from my blood work were back; I had the Irish curse which means my liver produces way too much iron enough to make me sick and disrupt other levels in my body. This translates into being a  lightweight who should also not consume red meat on the regular. It went deeper than that as well. My mother died of liver cancer and suddenly my near constant fear of death was facing me. I was certain I would develop cancer. That night I  felt the world was indifferent to me. I walked my brother’s dog on a loop until my tears stopped and she was tired of barking at nothing.

There was no response from my book. None. On top of bad medical news I was now facing rejection on a book I had spent the majority of five years working on. My life’s work was invalidated and I had nothing to comfort me. I, at that point, did not even feel that I had my health. So I went to the museums around my brother’s house and went to the Natural History Museum where they had a gemstone exhibition. I had never considered that there was not a God, but looking at the void of it in a museum was compelling. My doubt turned into a full-blown panic. In one moment I gave up the hope in the face of so much failure.

I had always been a believer and even had an angel character tattooed on my hip that my Mandarin instructor laughed at because it translated into gibberish. Not believing was unnatural to me. Surely if there was a God he/she/it would have cut me some slack by now. Then I walked through a graveyard in Earl’s Court and this just screamed, “Maureen you are walking worm food, all that faith was for nothing. You wasted five years of your life, but then again you weren’t doing anything better.”  It was a bitter pill to swallow and I wondered through the graves noticing shorter mounds of dirt indicating infants. The world was so cruel not to teach us lessons, but because no one was behind the wheel. There was no paid employee to make sure we were on track or even getting service.

I had gone atheist though it never felt comfortable. Other atheists raced towards me and most conversations I had revolved around the abyss that awaited us. My nerves were shot to hell and everything seemed pointless. It was not a good time, but I pushed away any form of faith or prayer. Acceptance of the uncertainty would be best and I stopped meditating though I had been spotty at it for years. Angels and crystals around my house became decorative. Faith was a word I tried to avoid and I felt just pensive.

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Geology picture where I felt we were alone in the universe.

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This is right before the blur of colors of the Olympic Bike Race where Cavendish was boxed in.

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I took a touristy boat ride of the Thames. This image of the royal family during the golden jubilee was taken before I was born.

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The Olympic Rings on Tower Bridge

Nearly a year later, I asked for and received a definitive sign that could not be explained away by science.  I asked outsiders to explain and all I got was “weird”. It made me feel better because I had come to a place of quiet in my mind. I was not longer desperate for faith which is why it finally came to me. My book was not as good as it could have been and I sent it to a paid editor who ripped it apart much to my delight. I became a better writer from the experience and saw where I was making mistakes. Rejection is part of being a writer and the trick is in the betterment of yourself, not the validation from others. Faith comes when we start taking responsibility for ourselves.

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About bluebeadpublications

I am a writer living in Miami who loves reading, writing, and editing. If you need a ghostwriter, I am your chick.

12 responses to “Daily Prompt: In Good Faith”

  1. Richard McCargar says :

    Although it’s never a bad thing to get criticism about one’s efforts from a professional, I would argue that a lack of finding a publisher (finding your market) is not necessarily a sign that your life’s work was not validated.

    I would never give the right to validating my life’s efforts to another. The mere fact that it was sufficient for me, would be enough. Were others to enjoy it, make use of it, benefit from it, would be icing on the cake, but it wouldn’t be a requirement for my fulfillment.

    I believe we all add our own meaning to life, whether believers or not believers.

    We choose how to order our lives, whether to seek additional education that supports our interests, or perhaps to work 80-hour weeks to build a company we believe is useful, or everything in-between or to do nothing at all, they are all daily choices we make that are the product of the meaning we give to our lives.

    No other person can rightfully judge that end product.

    For me, I lost my faith when I was in second-grade. I won’t bother you with the reason, but I’ve long understood that correlation does not imply causation.

    A lack of a scientific answer for something does not mean there is no scientific answer, just that it may be difficult (or impossible under or with current technical restrictions).

    I started life as a believer, grew to design IC’s, some of which, are in spacecraft headed for the edge of the solar system. In between those times, I’ve learned so much about the universe that makes a being outside of time and space not only unlikely, but unnecessary.

    But, if faith helps you make sense of your life, good for you. We’re all just trying to get from one end of our lives to the other, with some modicum of happiness.

    For me, I can’t spend time believing in gods/religions/myths that change depending upon where one is born, or the era in which one is born. But that’s me. It needn’t be that way for anyone else.

    I’m happy for you that you found a way to be happy.

  2. Richard McCargar says :

    Theories do not become laws. Theories are the highest explanation for a set of facts and observations.

    The reason that we can send spacecraft into space is not because of guesses, it’s because men and women spend a lifetime learning the science behind astrophysics, chemistry, engineering etc.

    The mere fact that a person is not knowledgeable in any given scientific area does not mean their guesses and opinions are as valid as that of a person who spends years dedicated to the task.

    If you believe that opinions about topics you don’t understand are valid, would you allow a car-mechanic to operate on your brain? Of course not.

    Ignorance doesn’t make an opinion valid.

  3. linesbylinda says :

    We may not see it or feel God, how did you get here, you are a gift God knew about you and His plans for your life long before you were born, search, He is waiting for you. Keep faith alive!

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