Shakey’s had its own “pledge of allegiance” in the early 1970s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I was six, I stopped reciting the pledge of allegiance because I didn’t believe in god. I didn’t know the “under god” section was added to differentiate us from the godless communists and I could have just stopped saying that part but that only occurred to me last week.
And yes, I am an atheist who attends church most weeks. I am a complicated person. My Facebook profile has physics as my religion.
My already confusing stance on this got more confusing when Cheddar Jameson died. After seeing his little body at the vet, my last thought was I really hope I am wrong about god.
Cheddar died the week of the Connecticut school shooting. Another event that makes me want to believe in god, so that the shooter has a chance of going to hell. In the scheme of things, his death, while important to me, was not the worst thing that week but it got me thinking about my most fundamental ideas and values. I love Neill deGrasse Tyson’s statement that “we are all stardust.” This idea — that there is no god but that we are still part of something so much larger than ourselves is very comforting to me.
And then the cat gives me more reason to keep my faith with physics. As I was questioning my non belief in god, something occurred to me — neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed, they can only be transferred. I may not know where Cheddar’s energy went but I do know, it still exists somewhere. It no longer rests with him but it is out there — somewhere.
(and then I realized, the guns, the bombs, the revolution all had something to do with a girl named Marla Singer…)
While I am being honest (when am I not?) I am going to tell you, this has been a rough few months for me. My health issues have been, well, I am not healthy. First it was anemia. Next I had a seizure. Then I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. When I had that seizure, I re-injured my back (herniated a disk) and knee (train wreck of a knee). My teeth should qualify me for British citizenship. My favorite cat ever died (sorry Hobbes) and the only way to describe a recent relationship is “crash and burn.” That might be the nicest thing I can say about it. For the past month, my life has been a nonstop pity party. That all ends today. I am a lucky, blessed person and I need to get over myself.
You need to get busy living or get busy dying. I am done feeling sorry for myself. I am done forgetting how lucky I am. In the words of American Horror Story’s Sister Jude, “No time for navel gazing, there’s too much work to be done.”