Faking a Smile and Getting Away With It

Let’s start off fresh and clean with a Monday morning blessing:

May the weather of the cosmos, symbolized so dramatically by the meteors of the present Leonid shower, meet you well with gentle smiles this week.

(Worst case scenario: you are so weirded out that you’re accidentally in a better mood already.)

Indeed, if ever we try to avoid what might (accurately) be described as weird (we don’t), let’s not do so this morning.

Faith comes in many forms, but nearly all of them are, in one way or another, strange. As a wizard, I am a proponent of faith, although the forms taken by my many personal faiths might seem foreign to many. I do not necessarily mean belief in a deity or a pantheon of prancing gods and goddesses, although those things could certainly be correct under the right circumstances or viewed with the right eyes. I certainly do not mean anything in the vein of Alcoholics Anonymous, for I do not subscribe to the notion that we cannot do anything without surrendering ourselves and our decision-making power to a “higher authority”–even in my most hopeless of moments. I am not an advocate of faith that simply explains away what we do not understand or faith that replaces reality we can’t deal with.

What I am saying is that the faithful trust in that something, even something you might have made up, can be a profound and productive act of creation in itself.

I speak to you confidently and often boldly because I am a good wizard and a sincere one. But as I explained in my very first post, I am yet a working mortal like or even less than yourself. I am presented with poor treatment and unfair circumstances and profound, utterly mundane stresses each and every day. Sometimes, I handle this well. Other times, not so much. Sometimes, I even curse myself for my own words. Just last week, I posted about freedom, about how no one can take your time, and about how all time alive is sacred. I then spent the week feeling enslaved and as though all of my time were both profane and definitively stolen.

The fact that there are entire weeks when I am completely incapable of taking my own advice does not make me a hypocrite. It just means I have a pretty average amount of weak moments.

Faith doesn’t usually help me when I feel like I am being beaten. It deserts me like it deserted St. Peter in the courtyard before the rooster crowed that morning. In the times of the most profound injustice and failure, I have nothing resembling certainty about the state of the cosmos or my little place within it. I take no comfort in the humility of that position, derive no consolation from my head-knowledge of cycles and unstoppable ebbs and flows.

When you are in your worst of moments, there is little that I know to say to you, because there is little that I know to be effective to say to myself. Sometimes there is nothing that can be said, maybe nothing that can be believed.

Scrape by, in those times. Perhaps I will be able, in future posts, to delve a bit into the tools and advice we need in order to keep ourselves clawed desperately to the side of the rock face we live on. For now, my only advice is to get through the hours and the days in that dark valley, and maybe make a little something up to trick yourself, if you can. When you fake a smile, no matter how half-hearted, and no matter how dark the mood, the fake smile often takes a life of its own, and takes you along with it. That which is completely false can be useful in serving as representative of that which is real but too hot to touch. In such moments, even the most sarcastic of self-lies becomes often an act of creation, a suddenly manifested path to better times or even a new world entirely.

It is not easy–and it may not be easy even this week–but remember that any fire lit in any darkness matters.

Any at all.

One thought on “Faking a Smile and Getting Away With It

  1. It is true. Sometimes faking a smile for the world is the first step to believing it to be a real smile for yourself.

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