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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Three Cheers for Doubt

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I can't locate the article online, but February's Los Angeles Times Magazine has a wonderful little essay by the playwright John Patrick Shanley(Doubt). Here's someone who gives voice to my relationship to the world as a kid:

I was not exactly part of my time . . . I picked up what people around me were feeling. I heard what they said, but I did not participate. When people got worked up and started heading in some direction, I watched and walked along beside them, feeling their feelings, maybe even sharing them. But at bottom, they were not my feelings.
And in adulthood:

I was never a true believer. Not in the Catholic Church, not in Woodstock, not in the Vietnam War. I just couldn't get caught up in the whirlwind.
This is something other than skepticism, an orientation I have often been accused of possessing. Skepticism is grounded in a refusal to believe, an intractable resistance to getting caught up in the whirlwind, to use Shanley's phrase. This is inability, not refusal. Boy, do I get that.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:09 AM


Amen to this. Maybe its a generational thing...some sort of Postmodern hesitation. I've also wondered if there's an element of "pulling the curtain on the wizard" syndrome that comes with Seminary.

Either way, I like it. My hesitation is not with belief...it is in belief without a shred of doubt.

PS--Not the "Landon wizard," by the way. There are no curtains left to pull on him. :)
commented by Blogger Scott, 8:41 AM  

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