, , , ,

There’s a lot of it about, that anger directed to the deity we have inherited from whatever nation, tribe, religion and family we joined on arrival at this base camp for ego adventures. I have witnessed it in my own birth family and in the society around me. Some question god about the various mysteries of life as they experience it, others go beyond questioning and erupt into anger. The fist wavers you might call them, as opposed to the kneelers, questioning through faith.
Having passed through those stages on what appears to be ‘my own’ journey, I can see them for what they are and what they might lead to, once the energies propelling them dissipate. As adults observe teenagers banging about in rebellion and idealism, knowing they will settle in the years to come, I watch the cultural expressions of the kneelers and fist wavers with bemused interest.
Having participated in the arts since a young adult, primarily literary expression, but also as a keen observer of the theatrical and musical avenues of unfolding, I have seen how the more primitive stages are creatively embroidered in script, song and image and how much creative brilliance is embedded in the act.
Culturally we are surrounded by artists either angry at god or so angry they deny his existence. Of course these artists have yet to realize that they themselves  have a personal link to divinity buried in their psyches which can be uncovered once the passions of rebellion subside. Those of us who have already dug in the sand and found the buried pearls can only wait patiently as the teenage fist wavers dance through the flurries of steps necessary to the eventual unveiling.
I read of such an example today. The playwright and film maker Kenneth Lonergan is receiving much praise for his new work Manchester By The Sea, and as a fan of his other films, You Can Count On Me and Margaret, I was intrigued to see the further unfolding of his creative path. Of course there was the usual mad meandering through giddy highs and annoying lows that the world of Hollywood engenders for all its contestants.
A huge tide of smiles and back slaps for his script Analyse This, apparently grossing over 100m, followed by a critically acclaimed indy first feature and a bitterly fought over second feature, with the usual sue-me-sue-you calamities, his new one looks like it might combine great art with financial success and land him, once again, in green light heaven.
In the current New Yorker a profile by Rebecca Mead, ‘Lost Time’, reveals, not surprisingly, a complex multi-hued character, riven by the frustrations all artists feel in the profit mad world. But what really caught my attention were the following statements, which I shall quote in full.
“Among his theatre and movie industry peers, he is famous for being famously cantankerous. He went on, “It’s good to have a forward-thinking attitude – and I wish I had more of one – but I don’t think it’s so bad that some people can’t. ‘Oh well, my mom’s dead. She was nice, that’s okay’ – it just makes me sick.” Lonergan’s tone turned acid. ” ‘It’s fine, I’m dying.’ ‘It’s fine your mother’s dying, it’s no problem it’s just life. It’s just a circle of life? It all goes in one direction, – toward death.”
And later: “Lonergan is an atheist but his work frequently explores how religious faith might be sustaining or shaken by lived experience. “I know there is no God, so I don’t have to worry about why He allows things to happen. But it must be nice to feel taken care of like that.”
Yes it’s nice for the kneelers and not quite for the fist shakers, and for those of us standing in the light of our own divinity, not something we bother unpacking any more. And yet we are surrounded by creative artists passionate etching in the contours of their kneeling, fist shaking and determined refusal to do either. Think Woody Allen, think Bill Maher, think almost anyone in journalism, spinning their wheels in the search for meaning in the mists of suffering and squabbling.
We move from day to night and back to day again, dusting off the divine inheritance of our innate understanding every time it rains.