I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being, which is precisely why I cannot call myself an atheist. It is why I occasionally recite the appropriate Jewish blessings before eating and am jealous of those who believe in supernatural forces that imbue their lives with purpose. It is why, in part, I was driven to recite the Orphan’s Kaddish daily during the year following Papa’s death. After all, who the heck knows? I sure don’t.

I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being, but I wish I could know the unknowable truth, one way or another. Is the universe ordered? Do our lives have meaning? Is suffering purposeful? I have not personally experienced anything to suggest that any of these possibilities are true; but would that they were…


It’s prosery time at d’Verse. The rules are simple:

  1. Use an assigned line in the body of your prose. You may change the punctuation and capitalization, but you are not allowed to insert any words within the line itself. You can add words at the beginning and/or at the end of the line; but the line itself must remain intact.
  2. Your prose can be either flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction. YOU CAN NOT WRITE A POEM for this prompt. AND, your prose should be no longer than 144 words, sans title. It does not have to be exactly 144 words. But it can be no longer than 144 words.

The assigned line was:

I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.

Wisława Szymborska (1923-2012), ‘Possibilities’

A quick note:

Usually I respond to d’Verse prosery prompts with pieces of fiction, but the assigned line from Szymborska’s poem spoke directly to my heart, and I had been wanting to write a short piece like this regardless.

72 thoughts on “Possibility”

  1. Whether there is a God or not is an interesting question, but does not affect my responsibilities as a human being. I am only responsible to do what is in my power to do… to be an ethical person, to treat others as I wish to be treated, and to do all I can to make the world a better place. I am not responsible for the beliefs of others, only to respect their right to believe what they choose.

    Interesting essay, David, and thought-provoking. 🙂 All the best!

  2. I love your piece David posing more questions than answers. I love that you stay in question and are open. Intuition guides me and when I’m still the divine makes it’s presence known and living in the unknown is always the challenge. 💖

    1. Thanks so much, Cindy. I’m in the unknown pretty much all the time, but I’ve come to accept that. I’ve made several long-term attempts in the past to live elsewhere, and none of them took.


      1. I love that David. Me too… It reminds me of the Book Begniners Mind by Suzuki which I read often. It’s actually a cool place to be if we don’t try to get anywhere. 💖

      2. I am with you there David. 🙂

        And to comment on my own comment re Viktor Frankl: The Answers that may or may not arrive in the land of unknowing cannot be preached – they can only be shared, if that. As for the suffering of children, I have been very fortunate in teh case of a few social work clients to get adult survivors to see themselves as children having survived on childlike sense of wonder, just hypothesising. It worked. NOt by way of my skill though.

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