Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

God is Love?

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I had drinks with a friend the other night. He wanted to talk about God. Specifically, where God fits in if you don't believe, but want to. Its an interesting question. Its an interesting word, also. God.


Its something that means so many different things to so many different people.

My friend spoke about God and Love. God being Love. At first, I was resistant to the idea. It felt so Christian to me. Nothing against Christians. I am not, however, a Christian. I am attracted to Christianity, but, Jesus ain't my saviour if yah know what I mean, yo. Anyways. Fine. But, subtract Jesus. No Jesus. No Christ. Keep the GOD. Add the Love. God = Love. The act of loving = God. The idea is abstract. Very abstract. But I think that I can get behind it. It may be one of the only things I can really get behind. Choosing love. Love of self. Love of others. Simple. Right? Should be simple. Right?

Why not? Why does fear always get in the way. Of everything. How many things have I not done in my life because of fear? Is lazy a euphimism for fear?

I'd like to write a novel. I really would. I like this "writing plays" business, but with a novel, you can hold an entire world in your hands. It can exist for anyone anywhere in the world. The mere thought of that is a bit heart-breaking, and I'm not sure why. A play does not exist on paper. It "does", but it simply "doesn't". And once it has lived, it meets its death. A novel can be loved, and then immediately shared. You can offer it. A play can be offered, but only while it lives, and if you miss the play before its death, it will exist only as a missed opportunity. If you see it, of course, it can continue to exist in memory. Which is magic. But also heart-breaking.

I think I just described why theatre is both my love, and my fear. It may be a little too close to life. I'd prefer the ideal, please. A novel can live forever, and I want to live forever. I think I really do. Today I do anyways.

I think I also just understood the song "FAME" - and subsequently, the draw towards it. Fame. The closest thing to Eternal life, perhaps. I used to want to be famous. And then I got to work with some famous people, and felt very sure that I would be miserable in their situations. They were not miserable people, really, but they were not really people to me. They couldn't be. They were too famous--and they would always be famous. It was impossible to see them, and almost impossible for them to let themselves be seen.

And now I shall lock myself in a room and cry forever.

Blog - Michael...

Michael - Yes?

Blog - You're spinning out of control.

Michael - I know. I had a strong coffee.

Blog - Do you need a hug?

Michael - I think so.


Michael - Will you hug me blog?

Blog - I'd like to. But I'm just a blog.

Michael - That makes me sad.

Blog - I know. Me too.

(Michael and the Blog cry together.)

Blog - Are you going to be okay?

Michael - I'm fine. I am. Great actually. Quitting smoking does crazy things to brain and body. Its good. Really really good.

Blog - Are you sure?

Michael - No.

(Michael weeps)

Blog - Poor dear. Poor poor dear.

Michael - Yes. I am poor. I am so poor.

Blog - You are the poorest.

Michael - I am. I am so poor. Where are my riches, Blog?

Blog - I don't know, Michael.

(Michael continues to weep)

Michael - Will you help me look?

Blog - I'm trying.

Michael - Try harder.

Blog - I will. For you. I will. I'll do anything for you.

Michael - If only you could hold me.

Blog - Yes. If only. If only.

(Michael and the Blog weep together)

Michael - It is so sad.

Blog - So sad.

Michael and Blog - So, so sad.



On a lighter note. Go see APPETITE. It runs until the 26th at Passe Muraille. It got a terrible review in the Globe. ONE STAR. This is really too bad for the show, because it will effect audiences, but it is so rare to get a 1 star review. The review has to despise it! But what an amazing reaction. To despise. When one person despises something, there will always be others who adore it. I am on the side of adoration, as are a great many other people I know who saw it.

Please. Do go. Its only around for one more week.


The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Michael Rubenfeld

Michael Rubenfeld is a writer, director, actor and producer. His plays include Present Tense, Spain and My Fellow Creatures.

Go to Michael Rubenfeld’s Author Page