Please enjoy these beautiful thoughts, beautifully expressed, by my friend Ian. (Posted with permission.)
I think one of the advantages to having been born and raised in Alaska, and having a mother who encouraged me to explore my world, was that in those massive wide open expanses, the unending forests, the freezing lakes and rivers, impassible mountains, and temperature extremes that think nothing of ending your life…
I learned that life is not given to us. That the world doesn’t belong to us. It was not made for us… In fact, for the most part we aren’t even suited to it.
We survive the world. We live small in an unimaginably massive universe that would kill us instantly in our natural state.
I learned all of this before I even turned 5 years old.
So when someone first told me their stories about their God, or their religions, or their books… All I could think was:
“That makes absolutely no sense! Why would anyone make something so mean to us? No. I just don’t believe that. I’ve seen a bear kill. I’ve killed fish. I once fell in a river during the winter. I know I almost died. Nothing invisible saved me. I saved myself! That book is ridiculous.”
I’ve lived another, what? 35 years now?
We survive the world. We live in that unending and harsh world.
And that’s the best feeling there is. Walk any forest without your tools to save you, and you’ll see. No God. Just you, and the world that makes you.
I’ve never felt more free than in those mornings when the world was about to end me – without malice, without anger, without hatred or rage…
Just the ice wind, blowing into my lungs. Quietly asking,…
“What are you doing here? How are you going to live?”