Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Ramblings: Faith and Fables
Nobody ever told me how much my faith would change as I grew up. At most I was told I would grow deeper in my faith, meaning I would believe what I already believed, but with more conviction. Well, that didn't happen!
Many people, after they've graduated high school and moved out of their parents' house, put little emphasis on faith and church in their life. In a way, they remain faithful to their faith upbringing, for they don't exactly take on new or different beliefs.
I went in the rather opposite direction where I studied religion relentlessly and my faith, well, it changed. Many of the things I believed as a youth I no longer hold all that strictly. I wouldn't say I necessarily disbelieve them, but I don't hold them at the forefront or perceive them as being that critical or fundamental to my faith. There's a lot of contention there, but at the same time there's a lot more peace. It's an odd feeling.
I'm sure if younger me could see what my faith had become he would call me some sort of heathen and be ashamed. If I could talk to my younger self I might call him stupid or naive, but I would also smile and tell him he's going to have a whole bunch of fun.
What brings this up now? Well, I'm reading The Weakness of God by John D. Caputo, and as much as I enjoy Caputo, this book is stretching me in ways I'm not sure I can stretch. I don't know if I can make the leaps Caputo is making. Reading this can sometimes be rather uncomfortable for me.
But that is so much fun!
Yes, I think having my faith stretched and made uncomfortable is fun. It's enjoyable to feel my faith being fluid and organic, growing and contracting as it encounters foreign ideas. It feels alive instead of being so rigid and unwaveringly monolithic like the faith of my youth.
But it is also scary. Oh, my dear friends, it can be so scary.
Faith, like theology, is an adventure!
And now on to Wednesday!
I am still slowly making progress in Fables. For those who don't know, Fables is about the fairy tale characters you know and love, but they have fled their fable homelands to escape a tyrannical Adversary and now secretly live in a neighborhood in New York. It's fun and brilliant and quickly approaching its final issue at number 150.
In my own reading, I'm approaching issue 100. I read them digitally, since comixology periodically has sales, during which I add to my digital collection. It's an easy book to binge read, which I usually do, but like most binges they have to end. So after about 20 issues in rapid succession, I get distracted by other titles that I have been neglecting. After a while I return to Fables and binge again.
One thing I've noticed is that Fables is always fun to read. Some comics are densely packed with information (I'm looking at you, Grant Morrison), and require plenty of concentration to make it through an issue. That's not bad, but it's usually not what I want to read to unwind before I drift off to sleep. Fables, though, is that perfectly enjoyable comic where I can knock out an issue or two no matter what my mood. It's always entertaining and interesting, but is never a chore to wade through.
On a final note, Fables is also one of those excellent "starter" comics to recommend to someone who has never read comic books before. It doesn't require and intricate background of 75 years of superhero continuity to understand what's going on in the story. Do you know the story of Snow White? Have you heard about the Three Little Pigs? Good. You're all set. Enjoy.
And that is my rambling.