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August 8, 2004

Ode To A Silly Dibbun

This entry was originally posted on my old blog.

"I don't need no one to tell me about Heaven
I look at my daughter and I believe..."

Words by Ed Kowalczyk, song by Live.

I'm not a religious man. After examining my beliefs, you couldn't call me a Christian. I've always considered myself spiritual, though. I'm probably more agnostic than atheist. I believe in the concept of God, if not in the actual existence of said Being. I believe that God is a state of mind, that He exists differently (or not at all) for everyone depending on their own needs and belief. Personally, I don't believe most of the New Testament or in the existence of Heaven or Hell. I believe when we die, we die. I'd like to believe in reincarnation, I would like to believe the Bible is factually true, but I don't.

That having been said, I understand why ancient people created religion. They looked about them, at a world they didn't understand and couldn't comprehend, and had to ascribe a motive for it. Why did it rain? Where did the thunder come from? What is out there? They looked around them and felt awe, and the only thing to do was to assume that "someone" was responsible for it all, and to worship that "someone". At its most basic level, I believe religion is a repository for awe.

I do understand that, but until recently I had never felt it myself. I'm more intellectual than philosopher. When I see rain, I don't think God, I think cumulonimbus clouds and atmospheric pressure and fronts. I have romantic notions, but tend to be matter-of-fact about the world around me. However, I have a daughter. That has changed things.

She is three, and is the most beautiful, amazing thing in my life. She lives with her mom so I only see her every other weekend. I live for those moments. I feel the hole in my heart when she's not around, and when she tells me, "Daddy, we're buddies!" that hole fills and my heart soars so high I can't see the ground. She's my Silly Girl, my Dibbun (thanks for a great word, Brian Jacques), and my best friend. Without any irony whatsoever, I say too that she's a miracle. When I'm with her, when I hear her laugh, or watch her dance, or hold her tiny hand, I feel awe, for the first time in my life. I finally understand why people believe in God. I am closer to God when she's around than I have ever been before. It's not enough to make me believe like Ed does, but it's enough to make me understand what belief could be about. She broadens my horizons and makes me more complete than I ever have been before.

I love my daughter and am so proud to be a daddy. Just thought you'd all like to know.

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