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2007-05-04 - 5:02 p.m.

The other day, I read an interview with Tom Wolfe in Rolling Stone. His interview was part of a larger series of interviews with sort of cultural and musical giants of the last 40 years, since Rolling Stone started, in 1967. Maybe they were talking about John Lennon and the Beatles, but somehow, they got to religion. And Tom Wolfe said something to the effect that anyone who says that religion is awful and that it only causes terrible things to happen is insane. And he said that the result of purging religion or scrubbing it away as some Americans have done is depression. Losing religion equals depression. Get religion and beat the blues. I'm struck by that phrase that so-and-so "got religion." And I think he's probably absolutely right, in a way. Of course, knowing that doesn't make any of it any easier. How to make one's self believe and all that.

I've been working on an idea about faith. But faith not in any kind of religion, really, but in something. Something larger than yourself. The only example I've really got is that feeling when you're at a show with a band you really like, and everyone's singing, or maybe just you and your friends are, but the band's smiling and everybody's dancing and all of it puts chills up your back. And it's hard to describe after the show's over--or even after the end of the song--but it's still real and it's an altar and a reason to believe, I think. Probably none of this is unique but it's unique in that I've been thinking about it a lot and maybe the specifics will help it turn the corner. We all believe in something, right? Baseball or boys and girls or college or our jobs or getting drunk. Question is: what's so immovable, so permanent and unfailing that it'll always be there?

Completely unrelated: I'm going to make an effort, in the next few weeks, to allow people to be experts. I will ask them questions about things about which I do not know. I will allow them to shine.

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