A Question of Beliefs

When I was younger I used to say it was a fool who believed in God and a brave man who didn’t. I’m still somewhere in that position. I often feel there is something out there but I’m not quite sure what it is. You could call me a logical person with a spiritual sensibility or just a man who likes to hedge his bets.

All in all I try not to get obsessive about it and like to think that if the mighty spell checker in the sky is up there and he sees that you are trying to lead a good and caring life he will ignore the fact that you forgot to wear a tie on some formal occasions.

I was bought up a catholic by a mother who followed all it’s rituals with iron self-discipline. I bought my girls up as Anglicans as much as anything because that is the religion of my forbears, ( my mother converted) and Anglican churches are more available in the countryside. My attendence was as much social as anything else but I enjoyed some of the ritual and it was a nice thing to do on a Sunday morning. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a great one for respecting others beliefs but mine are a bit vague when it comes to this topic.

My partner is Muslim which seems, on investigation, to be not as different as we think and completely unrelated depending on how rigid your system of evaluation is. Speaking as a semi insider, the hardest part is laying off the pork, which I do as a mark of respect for her position, as I have a long admitted fondness for sausages, and a bacon sandwich taken with a cup of tea on a spring saturday morning is a pleasure that is hard to beat.

Not too long ago we went off to some Lebanese joint in the middle of London, with favourite cousin, who I have mentioned before. Despite her antagonism to Jane, my satellite navigation device, she is a great person to have around. We munched at our food and drank a glass of wine and repaired to the basement where dancing was available.

I find it hard to keep still when  I hear music. I know I should. I have tried shoes with magnets and thrusting my hands deep inside my pockets, but sure enough, after a few beats I am on the floor and waving my arms around like someone trying fight with an umberella during a hurricane.  Suddenly my knees start to jiggle and sure enough, my feet are now flying around as I soak in the rhythms of the current tune. Frankly I love it, and the words “lost in the music” certainly apply to me. I am not saying my movements are up to the standards of the Royal Ballet, or even the London Fire Brigade but no one gets hurt and I enjoy myself.

At the end of the evening we are standing outside the club drinking in the night air and generally catching our breath when a smart gentleman with his wife or girlfriend stops to ask me if I have recovered my breath. I have, and, for some reason which remains unclear,  he  launches into some story about driving a Hummer across Europe to Iran, or it might have been Iraq. It certainly wasn’t Norway . He was, it transpired, a British muslim of Iraqi origin travelling in an American car to his homeland in northern Iraq, and this complexity involved him in some difficulty at some border which all ended well, but was important enough to tell us about.

He seemed to warm to me for reasons which escape us all and asked, noticing my partner and her lovely cousin, whether I was a Muslim. “I’m not but they are” I said waving my hand grandly in their direction. “I was bought up a Catholic Christian, but in the circumstances I now describe myself as a Chrislim”.  “What is a Chrislim” he asked, smiling at the term. “Well, it’s a Christian who doesn’t eat pork unless he’s hiding in the broom cupboard.”

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, faith, Life, life2, Relationships and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to A Question of Beliefs

  1. Al says:

    It’s good to see your drollness was not affected by your voluntary hiatus.


  2. Ah, brilliant! Insightful, honest, and amusing – your posts are always a delight 🙂


  3. babs50nfab says:

    I am so happy to see you back Peter! Who knew you were a dancing fool?? Love a man with rhythm. I hope you’ll be posting regularly again, and more importantly I hope whatever kept you away has been resolved.


  4. Caroline says:

    Ah! I knew I missed you for so many reasons and your post today is definitely one of them. And may the world have more Chrislims – they’re needed!!!!



  5. nelle says:

    Ah, religion, spark plug of debate, fury, and intolerance. If only we tended to our shortcomings instead of taking the measure of others, we might notice we have just as many.


  6. I’m sitting here very early hours and you just gave me my first chuckle and heart warm for the day ~ Thank you 🙂


  7. Love it! I have to keep that term under my hat 😉


  8. Purely.. Kay says:

    I just loved your response at the end of this article. I really missed reading your wonderful stories..


  9. backonmyown says:

    I’ve missed you, Ducks. I love the mental image of you dancing and you described it beautifully. But most of all I like your word “crislim” and your wonderful definition. You made me laugh out loud. Thank you. 🙂


  10. –I’ve missed you, Ducky.
    Chrislim? Interesting….. You may have something there.



  11. Oh, Peter! You love to dance! What a wonderful tidbit to learn about you. This was a great story and I especially love the ending–all very geographically and spiritually diverse, but you brought it together with such finesse–so perfectly YOU. I’ve missed you. Glad you are back. 🙂


  12. Larry Lilly says:

    Like you I was raised a catholic, changed to baptist, now I am a practicing spiritual agnostic. I belive in the big God, but mens gods are well, short on substance. I know he can do much better than that. My wife is a native spiritualist;, native american indian at heart, and I find that as close to what god should be, someone that helps you in the here and now, not someone that you may meet when its all over with.

    But as they say, best to stay away from women, religion and politics, and boy oh boy, when you bring all three to the dance, its like danicng on coals with gasoline in your pockets.


  13. Miss Emm says:

    Ultimately it is you who decides what is out there, and what to believe in. Completely irrelevant, but I am National Geographic junkie. And I was watching this episode on the Ancient Egyptians and their thoughts on afterlife. There is such great disparity of their thoughts on what happens when one dies, which god is present upon the death, and which god challenges the recently deceased. It all boiled down to the sins the King had made and how badly he feared his punishment. It is no different for you and I. We may not be Ancient Egyptian royalties, but we aren’t that far off.


  14. eof737 says:

    Chrislim… love it. That was a funny exchange and I wonder what your partner would have thought of it all.. Glad to see you back in blog land again. Welcome back! 🙂


  15. afroblush says:

    Arh man, I loved reading that.
    1) A Chrislim! lol, that’s so funny but true, I know many Chrislims….
    2) LOL @ “waving my arms around like someone trying fight with an umberella during a hurricane.”


  16. Shonnie says:

    thank you for the snicker. I needed that you droll, chrislim, man you! 😉


  17. renxkyoko says:

    Well, I guess it’s all about tolerance, understanding, and most importantly, LOVE.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As always, they’re awesome.
    P.S. never mind the pork ! We don’t need the cholesterol. ( I do love bacon, though )

    Cheers !


  18. stardust310 says:

    I have missed your blog. I have been studying very hard for the past ten weeks so I could not read any of my favorite blogs. Once again, you have amazed me. I was about to “ghost write” something about religion. It seems that when I come here, often I find you have written on a topic I either just wrote about or was about to, lol. My blogging soul mate 🙂



  19. humourworld says:

    A great post and i’ll call back.


  20. Writerlious says:

    Muahahahaa! I love the word Chrislim. Brownie points to you –made-up words are the coolest. 🙂


  21. Christine says:

    I love that the music takes over and you just can’t help moving, me too. Feels good to let loose 🙂


  22. Lady E says:

    Haha, Counting Duck is back, and on top form :)!
    I wasn’t brought up as anything in particular as my parents are from different religions and did not push either of them on their children, and I have ended up being a complete atheist. I sometimes wish I was more spiritual, believed in a god or something because it is a reassuring thought, but nada…
    Great to see your tolerance and respect at work in your relationship. If only more people could be like that!
    PS. You’re a bloke and you enjoy dancing? Now, you cannot possibly be English CD ?


  23. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Really enjoyed this one. I didn’t know your partner is Muslim. I just imagined, somehow, they never married outside their religion – I thought it was that strict.

    Your broom cupboard secret is out! 🙂


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