Commonplace Book #150

“When it was so dark at the St. Michael’s playground that we couldn’t see the basket, we couldn’t see [the statue of] Mary Magdalene, either. What Owen liked best was to practice the shot until we lost Mary Magdalene in the darkness. Then he would stand under the basket with me and say, CAN YOU SEE HER?

Not anymore, I’d say.

YOU CAN’T SEE HER, BUT YOU KNOW SHE’S STILL THERE–RIGHT?’ he would say.

Of course she’s still there!’ I’d say

‘YOU’RE SURE?’ he’d ask me

Of course I’m sure!,’ I’d say. 

`‘BUT YOU CAN’T SEE HER,’ he’d say–very teasingly, ‘HOW DO YOU KNOW SHE’S STILL THERE IF YOU CAN’T ACTUALLY SEE HER?”

‘Because I know, she’s still there–because I know she couldn’t have gone anywhere–because I just know!’ I would say…

‘YOU ABSOLUTELY KNOW SHE’S THERE–EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN’T SEE HER?’ he asked me.

Yes! I screamed.

‘WELL, NOW YOU CAN KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT GOD,’ said Owen Meany. ‘I CAN’T SEE HIM–BUT I ABSOLUTELY KNOW HE IS THERE!”

–John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany, 458.