'Keeping Faith' by Jodi Picoult

"It's wanting to know that makes us matter".

British playwright Tom Stoppard's Arcadia is a play of ideas. It questions our understanding of the past, drawing attention to the futility and necessity of knowledge for the human condition.
British playwright Tom Stoppard's Arcadia is a play of ideas. It questions our understanding of the past, drawing attention to the futility and necessity of knowledge for the human condition.
As one character declares, "It's wanting to know what makes us matter," showing the essence of the human spirit is an enquiring mind.
As one character declares, "It's wanting to know what makes us matter," showing the essence of the human spirit is an enquiring mind.
Chemistry's origin lie in the ancient pursuit of alchemy, which in public eyes was tied with magic and the Devil. The character Faust was an alchemist who sought to gain knowledge by trading his soul with the Devil.
Chemistry's origin lie in the ancient pursuit of alchemy, which in public eyes was tied with magic and the Devil. The character Faust was an alchemist who sought to gain knowledge by trading his soul with the Devil.
'An etching of Faust' by the dutch painter Rembrandt show the suspicion with which people regarded intellectuals in the Middle Ages, asking the question:how much knowledge is too much?
'An etching of Faust' by the dutch painter Rembrandt show the suspicion with which people regarded intellectuals in the Middle Ages, asking the question:how much knowledge is too much?
We like to think of ourselves as rational creatures, but both neuroscience and social science suggest that we are more optimistic than realistic.The belief that the future will be much better than the past and present is in every race and region...
We like to think of ourselves as rational creatures, but both neuroscience and social science suggest that we are more optimistic than realistic.The belief that the future will be much better than the past and present is in every race and region...
You might expect optimism to erode under the tide of news about violent conflicts, high unemployment, tornadoes and floods and all the threats and failures that shape human life. Collectively we can grow pessimistic....
You might expect optimism to erode under the tide of news about violent conflicts, high unemployment, tornadoes and floods and all the threats and failures that shape human life. Collectively we can grow pessimistic....
but optimism about our personal future remains incredibly resilient. Overly positive assumptions can lead to disastrous miscalculations but it also protects and inspires us and keeps us moving forward.
but optimism about our personal future remains incredibly resilient. Overly positive assumptions can lead to disastrous miscalculations but it also protects and inspires us and keeps us moving forward.
Without optimism our ancestors might never have ventured far from their tribes and we might all be cave dwellers, still huddled together and dreaming of light and heat.
Without optimism our ancestors might never have ventured far from their tribes and we might all be cave dwellers, still huddled together and dreaming of light and heat.
To make progress, we need to be able to imagine alternative realities and we need to believe that we can achieve them. Such FAITH helps motivate us to pursue our goals.
To make progress, we need to be able to imagine alternative realities and we need to believe that we can achieve them. Such FAITH helps motivate us to pursue our goals.

'Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life' -Sophocles




What do you want to believe?”

Mariah asks herself,

looking at her wedding ring:

That a symbol of a perfect marriage

is an endless circle.”

Her husband calls and she closes her eyes.

She believes in him,

she sees him,

already

rushing to come back home to her.

He hangs up without saying good-bye.

Five years passes

until she realises,

he never held her hands,

never asked her what she wanted,

never stared into her eyes.

She can't talk

about the way

he could not look

her

in the eye

when leaving her for someone else.

Contrary to what she believed in,

a divorce is final in six weeks,

as if all the time in between,

means nothing,

the feelings

slowly dwindling

to the point,

where

they can be scattered

with one angry breath.

You should believe in miracles,”

her mother tells Mariah,

tells her to loosen up,

but the last time,

she did,

she nearly came apart.

Mariah imagines her life,

neatly slotted and tabled,

with everything

still in place,

her fervent intent,

to not turn

into her mother

with approaching age.


But today,

due to circumstances

beyond her control,

she has entirely too much time

on her hands.

Her mother raises her eyebrows,

Mariah just shrugs.

They are like that,

speaking without words,

knowing each other so well.

Maybe like eye colour,

and bone structure,

miracles are passed down

through bloodlines,

Mariah muses,

feeling something

indescribable,

as her mother,

unexpectedly,

laces her fingers,

through hers.


Circles in her head,

who is she?

Compulsive and idealistic,

rejection sensitive,

poor self-confidence,

a tendency to overcompensate

and to catastrophize...


You can't change yourself overnight,”

she hears her mother's voice,

again,

she knew,

what Mariah was thinking about.

It was a small ball

of cells

inside her,

made her aware,

she is not alone.

She named her Faith,

because

she badly

needed something to believe in.

And yet,

for whatever reason,

being a mother,

herself,

never came easily to her.

Motherhood

should descend naturally,

a little painful,

a little awe-inspiring,

but part of her,

now,

for better and for worse.

She wonders

often,

if other mothers

feel a deep tug

in their insides,

watching their children

grow up

into the people

they themselves

wanted so badly to be.

And yet,

she says to herself:

Faith should have gotten

someone else as a mother,

someone who was good at this sort of things.”


Don't you know by now,

that raising a child is always a work in progress?”

Her mother must know,

how close she is to falling apart.

I want to grow old and be like you, the best one, you are.”

Mariah says softly to her mother.

She was sad once

that her mind

made her believe

something

that wasn't true.


She doubted herself,

once,

she was not a person

to love,

to him,

She wraps her arms,

around Faith

waiting for her breathing

to level,

before she let herself fall asleep.

Maybe this time,

she can do it.

Somewhere between

belief and doubt

lies faith.

Faith is the substance of things

hoped for

the evidence of things not seen.

What are you willing to believe?”

Mariah asks her ex-husband,

I had been waiting my whole life for this first time

with a man who knew me better that I knew myself.”

She reaches towards him,

but not expecting magic this time:

Falling in love has little to do with wanting someone,

it is much more enticing to me to be wanted,

and yet it never occurred to me that you were interested

in what you could make me into,

instead of what I already was.”


You were my wife. I loved you.

But, almost overnight

you became someone,

I didn't recognise,”

The light reflecting off his face,

this man has his reasons

for starting a custody battle over his child:

And now it's like history is repeating itself.

My little girl isn't acting like my little girl anymore,

I can't stand this happening again.”


You can't have her, she is mine.”

Her words are as quiet as the night,

the person who got lost,

in their story

is their child.


For seven,

Faith knows a lot of things,

she has learnt enough

of the world

to realise,

that the only way to leave your mark

is to speak and act like grown-ups.

She knows that truth

can cause a sharp pain

behind your eyes

and that love sometimes

feels

like a fist around your throat.


When her mother looks up,

Faith thinks,

that she has never

in life

seen anything so sad.

She walks out of the room,

leaving Faith to wonder,

once again,

what miracle might keep

her mother close by.

The sting of feeling unwanted

by her dad.

Why did he run away, leaving her behind?

She seeks solace in her new friend,

who may or may not be imaginary.

What are you willing to believe?

She asks her parents,

who are not ready to listen,

but the hope-hungry world is.

Suddenly, her life is questioned

by the media,

the medical professionals,

the organised religions,

by atheists,

everyone has an opinion

but no one knows the truth.

She is just a child,

but she knows that

the best way to catch a butterfly

was not to chase it at all,

but to remain still,

that it made the choice

to light on your shoulder.

The power of healing,

they believe

she possess,

comes from inside her,

it is possible to die of grief,

so why can't someone by healed by hope and love?

But grown-ups around her can't see it.

She challenged them to think about their own beliefs,

and their never-ending questions

make no sense in her world:

How can we be spiritual without being religious?”

If Christianity was grafted onto the tree of Judaism,

how to draw a line in the sand,

where 'us' start and 'them' finish, based on beliefs?”


What if what you believe isn't as important as that you believe at all?”

An atheist argues: “ I have never believed that spirit comes from religion.

Everything can be explained, there is no divinity.”

I want my daughter to be safe. I want her to be mine.

Mariah keeps her voice up,

realising for the first time,

she can not let herself be steamrolled,

again,

by people and circumstances beyond her control:

Just for here, just for now, maybe we could give

each other the benefit of the doubt.”


The atheist wraps his arms around her,

still amazed by the lull of peace,

inside him now.

The thought catches him unawares,

pulls the world out from beneath his feet,

someone close enough to truly touch him

and suddenly he is ready to believe in divinity.

This is love. A place where people,

who have been alone may lock together,

spin in the air, dizzy with surprise at the connection.

A place you go willingly, and with wonder...

and he knows,

you can believe something really hard

and still be wrong.

There is more to a person than a body and a mind.

A spirit that hints you might one day be greater,

stronger than you are now...

There are moments that open up your life

like a walnut cracked,

that change your point of view

so that you never look at things the same way again.

There are moments in your life when boundaries break down

and when the only step to take is a leap of faith.

Who listens when a 7-year-old girl has something important to say?

We don't have to accept each other's beliefs,

but we have to accept each other's right to believe them.

People have to decide for themselves upon a foundation

to balance the argument of belief and disbelief.

People have to accept that each foundation is so filled with shades of grey

that even the objective observers doubt the ability to see clearly.

There is room for doubt in every corner....except for love.


Who listens when a 7-year-old girl has something important to say?

Her mum's ears are wide open, now.

She can feel her daughter's eyes on her,

like the sun that touches the crown of her head,

when she steps outside.

She looks into her daughter's face and see accidents waiting to happen.

And then her vision would clear and she would see only love,

a well so deep that you could try and never know the bottom,

but only suck in your breath at its frightening depth.

She looks into her daughter's face and see her healing powers diminishing,

but Faith doesn't mind, she has her mother at her side.

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

More by this Author


Comments 12 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

It takes just as much faith to be an athiest as a believer.;)


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

So true, just have to work on my hub little bit more as something happened and half of my pictures is gone (miracles of the internet:)...thanks for your comment, wanted this one to delete but leave it now, I value your comment too much:)


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

Wow, what can I say. You really are blessed and gifted. You are correct about it all. Faith is key.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you dear thelyricwriter, you can read the updated version on the added hub:...no one knows the truth:)


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

As always, a great hub, enjoyed even though I am not a great Picoult fan. Keep the faith. Lynda


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you my dear Lynda, my faith never leaves me, especially my faith in good friends, you are one of them:)...all the best with you writing and hubbing my dear fellow writer:)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago

I'm a Picoult fan. Nicely done.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Happy to mee you 'anginwu' and thanks for your comment:)...I have longer version of this reflection on the following hub, if you are interested:)


Derdriu 5 years ago

Beata Stasak: What an irresistible mix of cultural and natural parallels, deft characterization, and poetic prose! It is indeed disappointing that the rest of your presciently captioned photos are no longer on the page. But your words always know how to speak for themselves.

Thank you, voted up, etc.,

Derdriu


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

You have to visit my hub: ' In a world where everyone has an opinion but no one knows the truth', this is the following up hub where are the lost captioned photos....I had to do this hub twice due to the problems with computer...I apologise for inconvenience...love writing but sometimes 'technology can not keep up with me':)

Please visit this hub and see if you like the follow up photos with nice ending:)


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

Beautiful! And, now I am on to read "In a world where everyone has an opinion but no one knows the truth". Thank you for sharing your talents with us.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, dear Marlene for stopping by and acknowledging my 'poems in images', means a lot to me:) B

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