Tennessee Williams: Be My Witness

Regardless of whether you are seeking a relationship with God--or some other supernal deity--yourself, or your work, all are destinations toward the so-called Divine. I have been to retreats and monasteries and within the chilly offices of priests and monks and mystics, and the primary goal--nirvana, if you will--is finding oneself and becoming at peace with oneself. I will always be on this journey. Everyone will always be on this journey. It is impossible, they say, to love God if we cannot love ourselves, and a spark, a chip, of the Divine rests within all of us. I've been trying for about a decade now to find this chip of the Divine within myself and within each person, and it has brought me a particular sense of peace, even as I recognize that I am incapable of any significant happiness if I am not also turning toward alcohol and drugs and success, a holy trinity that has had a decidedly wicked effect on my life.

We are here for a purpose, which is, I think, to bear witness to each other. Let me be here for you now. Let me tell you not only my story but yours. This we can do through the writing of words or the completion of particular steps. I am obsessed with steps, with rituals, with the proper insertion of words into journals or onto paper, which I innocently believe will bring me closer to the Divine, which will help me bear witness to whatever might be going on in my life and my heart at that present time. Experience has taught me that women are the shortest route to the Divine. It will be women who will teach me what I need to know to matter again, to bear witness again.

There is something we can always be doing. There is always this awful rowing toward the Divine. It is only awful, however, if it is done alone.

We need witnesses. 

I'll be yours if you'll be mine.

Be my witness

From Follies of God (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014)
By James Grissom


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