“Mario, what do you get when you cross an insomniac, an unwilling agnostic and a dyslexic?” “I give.” “You get someone who stays up all night torturing himself mentally over the question of whether or not there’s a dog.”–David Foster Wallace (1962 – 2008)
The Sabbath for Jews is twenty-five hours long. It keeps the Jews more than they keep it. A Jew, I try to maintain tradition, but not for any non-existent God. So, I don't write poetry and avoid making changes to the physical world on this weekly Day of rest, despite my finding more meaning in the verses I write than the nitty-gritty of Jewish rituals; usually, I can cope with it, but, sometimes, Shabbat is followed by another full-day holiday, and that comes out to an entire forty-nine hours away from my poetry writing, which, frankly, drives me crazy, and makes me feel resentful of the arbitrary restrictions I have come to find nearly meaningless, after years of exploring religious practice and hours of in-depth text study; once, I thought I wanted to become a rabbi. Ha! Dodged that bullet!
d’Verse: Meet the bar with dissonance
At d’Verse, writers were prompted to write poems employing dissonance, which is harder than we may think, as we naturally want to sound pleasant. If it helps, try to describe something unpleasant, to write off your anger, sorrow or angst.
A few ways to do this.
- Break up assonance by using all different vowels you could;
- Break up the meter, and make your poem stumble on two left feet;
- Use harsh consonants, putting some firework in your verse.
Let’s write poetry together!
When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.–Ben Harper (b. 1969)
Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!
43 thoughts on “Dog, or: God”
you captured the ambivalence perfectly … we must all find our own compromise!
❤ Kate ❤ ~ thank you… it's not easy!
never easy but most rewarding once you find your balance!
You haven’t really dodged the bullet. It bites somewhere 🙂
❤ Reena ❤ ~ well… I think I'd say that I dodged one bullet, but I got hit by several others!
love the quote and your poem combo David and laughing at this
“text study; once, I thought I wanted
become a rabbi. Ha! Dodged that bullet!”
❤ Cindy ❤ ~ yeah, sometimes I've gotta laugh – it's better than the alternative!
totally!! David 😂💖💖
I never knew about this David. I guess it all comes on to our choices and how we use time. Have a good weekend.
❤ Grace ❤ ~ thanks!
The quote is hilarious…the poem, not so much. Religious ritual can be meaningless…only Messiah can save (and He’s always available). Shabbat shalom, David!
I’m happy for you and others that you find meaning in your faith. Personally, I find absolutely no reason to believe in any of it.
As a thought experiment, if you had been born a Muslim in a Muslim country like Saudi Arabia, what would your faith have been then? You would have most likely ended up a Muslim with different beliefs than you have now – but that would not have been based upon the beliefs themselves… only upon the circumstances of your birth. Or – if you had been born a Hindu in India, etc., etc…
So, again, I’m happy for you – but I have absolutely zero belief in the coming of any messiah – I find no proof of it in the world we occupy.
True enough. Then we grow up and can make our own choice what/who we believe 🙂 Love to you too, David!
I use to feel the same way about festivals and reading. Didn’t want to be kept away from my books for too long.
❤ Harshi ❤ ~ exactly like that!
I hear you, David! I truly do. Wishing you Shabbatt Shalom!
❤ Harshi ❤ ~ thanks! Shabbat and the Shavuot holiday on Sunday are now over – so I'm back at the keyboard 😀