Until I was thirty-two, I was afraid to think about God. I panicked at what I called “ultimate questions.” In my journal when I was twenty-nine, I wrote: “Life-and-death is the only real drama. But I’m afraid to get close to it.”
Yet I’d keep begging my husband George, teasingly, to “tell me the meaning of life.” It was one of the playful routines of the first six years or so of our marriage. We’d giggle at his lack of an answer—giggle because we were sure that any answer would be a religious cliché we’d scoff at.
We’d met while getting our doctorates in literature, and the thing in life we were most confident of—and quite arrogantly charmed by—was our own brilliance. If life did have a meaning, we were certain that we could find it (or produce it) in our own minds. [Read more…]