Tent flaps – new faith/new identity


Fasten the tent flaps

I am in the mood for people, and I am in the mood to be alone. I feel strong, and I feel weak. It feels as if I’m on my way, but I don’t know where I’m heading. Five to twenty years of keep on going and staying the course. Afraid of mediocrity; afraid of getting old. Afraid of waking up alone one morning in an apartment in South Africa and I’m 37 years old. Alternatively, things work out here, and I’m 37 and happy in Taiwan. Fight the battle where it matters. “Please come back!” Twigs after final embraces. “Next year, really!” Taiwan for no special reason, the place is all right. Be who you are or who you become, where it will matter. Money and women. Leave me alone, comfort me. More answers than questions, if I can only remember the answers. Jobs, projects, credibility. Antique cabinets and old tables. Sticky sweat, winter, barbecue, summer, movies. Saturday afternoons with friends and family. Book royalties, sex, girlfriends, marriage, getting old alone, going mad, holding hands, picnics, poetry, health reasons, old flats, new houses, cars, bicycles, penniless poets, things that work out, things that don’t work out, issues, problems, social acceptance, shyness, self-protection, friendships, cigarettes, email, boxes, money. Oh, and revolutions, civil war, and heavy artillery.


New Faith/New Identity

Conversion to a particular religion always implies a transformation of identity.

Question: If a person converts to a particular religion, does it necessarily imply that he or she is not happy with the person they have been up until that point? How much does this have to do with faith, or a particular “truth”, and how much with the human need to feel safe by means of identity – if not always in the immediate vicinity, for example Christians in certain areas of Pakistan, but “safe” in the Bigger Scheme of Things?

[Additional thought: Each person’s conversion and associated joining of a particular community of faith confirm the “truths” of that religion. Why? Because yet another person has considered it, and confirmed it with his or her conversion. This makes the “truths” of a particular religion even more valid for those who adhere to them, no matter what religion it is, and regardless of the specific doctrine that is preached.]