Isnt praying just having the courage to desire out loud? Is praying only limited in its direction? Can we pray to friends? Can we pray to ourselves? To the trees? To anger? To nothing? Can we pray even when we feel like we don’t deserve it? What’s the harm in an ask? You never do a thing alone. Why not acknowledge it? Does the acknowledgement make you small? Is it speaking your powerlessness that makes it real? Or does it make you big? To place it in the hands of something that is bigger than you, but is also you?
The dream of utopia—of a life lived in a sane, happy, slow-paced, sustainable, self-contained community of beautiful dreamers seeking refuge from the crass, materialistic, cruel world—has been with us forever, or at least since 1516, when Sir Thomas More coined the term as the name of a fictional island where everything was perfect and everyone was like-minded. Utopia is a play on the Greek word for “no place,” which, in the English pronunciation, sounds just like the Greek word for “good place”—as in, a place so perfect, it could only exist in fantasy, or on Instagram.
Some people follow the dream to distant lands, secure compounds, or intentional communities. Others just follow people on social media and live vicariously through them.
Human beings do not grow in perfect symmetry; they oscillate, expand, contract, back track, arrest themselves, retrogress, mobilize, atrophy in part, proceed erratically, according to experience and traumas.
Some aspects of the personality mature, others do not. Some live in the past, some in the present. Some people are futuristic characters, some are cubistic, some are hard-edged, some geometric, some abstract, some impressionistic, some surrealistic! Some of their insights remain relative and we can no longer think of a character as good or bad, but a combination of characteristics which vary according to relationship and the point in time.
We know now that we are composites in reality, collages of our fathers and mothers, of what we read, of television influences and films, of friends and associates, and we know we often play roles quite removed from our genuine selves.
∆ Anaïs Nin, The Novel of the Future