Tuesday, October 7, 2008
A few years ago I read a book by Yann Martel called 'The Life of Pi' . It's a story about an Indian boy alone in a lifeboat after the ship that was carrying him and his family to a new life in Canada sinks into the Pacific. When an old friend (perhaps acquaintance is a more fitting description) clambers aboard Pi greets him saying, 'Jesus, Mary, Muhammed and Vishnu, how good to see you Richard Parker!'
The religious faiths are scrambled throughout the book but we forgive Pi for his confusion about what in particular to believe about theology. There are bits of all of them that appeal to his sense of wonder and the fact that Richard Parker is a 450 pound Bengal tiger is just another example of how marvelous is the world.
The two of them are adrift for weeks of uneasy but mutually respectful companionship bringing together the extremes of existence on earth - the animal and the divine. In an interview Martel described having an abiding feeling that our entire planet is like a lifeboat drifting across a cosmic Pacific.
It's something worth considering. I have a feeling seeing the world anew is the only important thing. Soon it will be another full moon but what we see isn't the real moon but it's reflection in the mind's eye.
(No, this isn't Pi but then I painted the picture a while back.)