Sunday favorites

Annie Dillard, in Holy the Firm

Of faith I have nothing, only of truth: that this one God is a brute and a traitor, abandoning us to time, to necessity and the engines of matter unhinged. This is no leap; this is evidence of things seen: one Julie, one sorrow, one sensation bewildering the heart, and enraging the mind, and causing me to look at the world stuff appalled, at the blithering rock of trees in a random wind, at my hand like some gibberish sprouted, my fist opening and closing, so that I think, Have I once turned my hand in this circus, have I ever called it home?

Faith would be that God is self-limited utterly by their creation — a contraction of the scope of their will; that God bound themself to time and its hazards and haps as a man would lash himself to a tree for love. That God’s works are as good as we make them. That God is helpless, our baby to bear, self-abandoned on the doorstep of time, wondered at by cattle and oxen. Faith would be that God moved and moves once and for all and “down,” so to speak, like a diver, like a man who eternally gathers himself for a dive and eternally is diving, and eternally splitting the spread of the water, and eternally drowned.


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