The following piece appears in our Summer 2016 digital issue. The entire issue is available for immediate download.
When I was a teenager, I recall once staring into my reflection in the mirror of the bathroom I shared with my four brothers. My two older sisters were married by then, abandoning me at that terrifying juncture when my body and mind morphed from child to woman. I looked into each of my eyes, first the left, then the right, and wondered: “Who are you?” Or something to that effect. The words aren’t as important as the feeling, which was a combination of curiosity, confusion, and fear. Perhaps it wasn’t as profound at the time as it is in hindsight, but it marked me in my mind as one of those people who needed to know what the point of our lives is and who would never be satisfied with pat answers.
I have come to realize not everyone has that need to know. My husband, for example, is content to live and let live. He is a kind, selfless, compassionate person who thinks it’s unlikely that Jesus was God, which I as a Catholic believe, or that there even is a God. He takes his cue from the natural world—meaning that all things live and die. The end. Whereas I see the natural world as confirmation that there is more to life than what we see.
ANGELA D’AGOSTINO is the author of the Tiferet Prize-winning short story, “Freda’s Truth.” She lives and works in New Jersey.