Finding The Dark Upside - Poem by gershon hepner
Finding the dark upside is easy
only when you reach the light,
the dark can make you feel so queasy
that nothing in it can seem right.
Harder and more problematic
is seeing downside when it’s bright,
when life can be more traumatic
than the rages of the night.
Everything is destined to
turn upside down, so keep your sight
on reverse sides of your view,
and let the dark with light unite.
Inspired by an article by Charles McGrath on Shalom Auslander, who was a rather boring guest at a Nextbook session at UCLA yesterday, discussing his experiences with psychiatrists (“Man and God and God’s Sick Punchlines, ” NYT, October 1,2007) :
He tried ignoring God, and also compromising with him. As a teenager, he writes in “Foreskin’s Lament, ” which goes on sale this week, he once rode his bike to Caldors on Saturday but then found himself unable to further violate the Sabbath by activating the electric-eye door opener. In the early-1990s he was married and living in Teaneck, N.J., working in an ad agency and just getting started as a writer. One Saturday he walked all the way to Madison Square Garden to see a game during the Stanley Cup playoffs. God punished him by making the Rangers lose. “It’s ridiculous that I feel the way I do, ” he said at the end of his drive in Monsey. “That I have this cartoonish view of God as someone who rewards and punishes. I feel like a fool when I read someone like Richard Dawkins, ” he said, referring to the British atheist and evolutionary biologist. “But let’s trade childhoods.” Intellectually, he said, he understood Mr. Dawkins, but “emotionally I’m not there at all.” He went on to compare himself, jokingly, to Moses. “There are two ways you can look at that story, ” he said. “Moses makes one mistake and God shoots him in the head — he’ll never get to the Promised Land. But you can also say that he almost makes it and that his children will. I like finding the dark upside, and that’s why I ended the book with my son’s first birthday. I didn’t get free, but maybe he does.”
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