Almost two years ago, I read Gene Wilder’s autobiography. As the book went on, his life became more interesting and I got more engulfed in his story. Looking back, I’ve been going through a lot of the problems he went through, dealing with depression, a sudden surge of spirituality, relationships coming and going…also the positives of forging relationships that will – whether sooner or later – will completely change my life and make me into a better me.
Anyway – Wilder had a period of time in his life where he would randomly start praying for no apparent reason. This sudden religious experience was because he needed something bigger in the world to believe in. Towards the end of the book, he talks about how he managed to get over his compulsion that actually paralyzed him. There is one quotation in the book that sticks out at me and is something I actually do live by in some ways.
“What is God, but something inside of me?” said Wilder.
And this is an interesting way of looking at things. I mean, I believe completely in a force in the world greater than I. I believe the universe has its own energy, that a place can control the people inside it, and that there are things completely out of my control. (Do I believe in god? I’m not so sure. I go back and forth, and I’ve been stuck on ‘no’ for quite a few years, although I believe that the universe does have a sense of humor and likes to play jokes on me…)
Wilder’s whole life – or rather his whole outlook on life – is based on fate, so yes, some being greater than him. Almost every chapter ends with a “had I not…then I would not have met…and I would not be here today” statement (or statements). He believes in fate, but he realizes that in the end, it is all something that he has to create, or the way I read into it, allow himself to create and be exposed to.
So there is divine intervention and there are divine forces at work, but in the end, the divine comes from within.
Even typing this out, it seems like such a contradiction to me, but it makes so much sense and I cannot articulate it. I guess what I’m trying to say is that god comes not through actions done upon you, but through your outlook.
Maybe what I identify with in Gene’s statement (yes, I’m on a first-name basis with him, it seems…) is that we always think of ‘god’ as being a good thing, and the good things in life we need to create for ourselves.
God is such a loaded word, though. Religion is such a heated debated that has caused almost every war in the history of civilization. (And the non-religion ones are caused by money, which is a religion of sorts.) So why do we keep looking for outside validation on our religion? Why do we need to agree with someone else about god?
Because people don’t like being alone, of course. But that question was rhetorical.
My religion? I believe in love and I believe in baseball. These are both things that cause a lot of pain, but also cause a lot of people to join together. These are things people can disagree on and still allow themselves to interact. These are things that are – in my universe – universal. And these are things that have hurt me the most in my life and also given me the greatest joys.
I’ve been going to a lot of Cape League baseball games over the last three years. (I always go to a few games a season, but the last two years, I’ve gone to at least a game a week…last year, much more.) This year is the first year where I am older than every player in the league. Kind of makes me look and say, ‘what have I done with my life?’ I was talking with a fellow spectator last week and talking about how I get older and the baseball players stay the same age. He looked at me and said, ‘A lot of things change constantly. But I know that every day, the sun is going to come up, every spring, the grass is going to turn green, and every summer, it’s baseball season.’
It’s kind of comforting to know that this will always be there. Religion may not be. God, both the kind outside me and within, falters and takes a vacation here and there. Love – the only other thing I believe in – is always there, but sometimes only in the sense of a longing for it and the residual pain from it. But baseball – baseball is still there and still the same. Four balls to a walk, three outs to an inning, the team with the most runs wins, and Cape League Baseball will, from now on, always consist of players younger than me.
I’m a hopeless romantic, and baseball is my chick-flick.
There’s only one thing left to say: