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  • Writer's pictureJulen Murguia

Si Diós Quiere, Baby 🤷🏽

Updated: Mar 7

The other night, amidst swirling bubbles and steam, I found myself thinking in the glorious solitude of my bathtub — this is obviously an important detail. As per usual, I was planning —scheming, even — putting my rational faculties hard at work in an attempt to make sense of myself and the world. Contemplating what the ‘next steps’ should be in regards to personal projects, financial goals, relationships, career path — and so on. 

Then a familiar feeling began so set in. A sort of frustration — a clenching of the mind.

Contemplation turned into rumination. My train of thought was gaining momentum, speeding up, the tracks splitting off and branching out into infinite possibilities. The “next few steps” began to reveal an impossibly long staircase, fading into some nebulous future.

Alas, I caught myself overthinking! (Oh wow, what a surprise)

But in that moment, an old proverb came to mind, followed by a sigh of relief and the ability to sink back into the moment, and consequently, into the warm water — because I’m in the tub, remember?

The saying is in Spanish: “si Diós quiere”. Which roughly translates to “God willing” — Now, I do not consider myself religious (at least not that I’m aware of — God knows!). However, this saying has acquired renewed meaning in my life as of late.

See, I used to be quite resistant to this aphorism. I found it somewhat irksome. This might have had something to do with the fact that I didn’t grow up religious. Being young and foolish back then (because now I’m older and foolish), I would respond by saying something along the lines of: “No! If you’re willing. Not God!” — And of course, this was stemming from a belief that this saying was somewhat of an excuse. That it was coming from a place of apathy and complacency. And, it’s likely that it was in fact often employed as such in some cases. But of course, as I later realized, there is much more to it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I want to emphasize that I mean no disrespect to neither religious nor secular readers! This is not a value judgement, rather, a personal investigation regarding my relationship to the use of language and its subsequent affordances.

To my surprise, later in life, this saying began to make much more sense to me. Not because I had suddenly gained a new-found religious fervor or gone through some sort of transformative experience — um well, actually, I take that second part back. I did go through a transformative experience. It’s called “life” hahaha — But rather, this saying was able to, somewhat succinctly, capture a complex concept I have been coming to grips with for the past few years.

My finitude.

My woeful limitations. 

The fact that I have finite energy, attention, locomotion, etc. That I am indefinitely ignorant (simply demonstrated by the fact that there is a combinatorially-explosive amount of “information” “out there”, that can be interpreted in infinite ways). That I am foolish, liable to self-deception and that, quite truly, I know nothing (which is actually great news because it means I can continue to improve!).

Now, I’m not saying all this out of disrespect to myself. It’s simply acknowledging a humbling fact.

It’s basically recognizing that ‘I’ (at least the part of me who usually is thinking about ‘me’) am “embedded” in something larger, way beyond my will, my “say”, my influence. My control. That no matter how much planning and scheming I do, the most unexpected thing can happen in the next minute. The next second! That I do not know where things will go. How events will unfold. I’m absolutely ignorant of all other factors “at play”. I do not know who I will be tomorrow or in the next moment, and the things I’ll value then and the new perspectives I will have gained.

This “larger”, unfathomable, unknowable, inarticulable mystery, can be neatly packaged in the extremely dense yet simple three letter word “God” — Now! I’m not trying to make any metaphysical claims or the foolish attempt at getting into the unending mess of tackling the definition of this word, for as we have seen, language is a tricky game, and words — especially massive concepts such as this one — are incredibly meaning-laden and can be understood in endless ways. 

But as a matter of personal interpretation, this fact of “finitude embedded in an ocean of unknowable potential and actuality”, began to ‘click’ with this maxim.

“Si Diós quiere”.

The beauty of understanding language not as a fixed reality but as a dynamic tool, as a technology that not only structures meaning but also facilitates the flow of ideas, is it has rejuvenated the significance of this phrase for me, and revealed its utility.

Obviously, this saying might not work for you, but maybe you can find one, a token, that will remind you of this fact and help break the spell, whenever you find yourself caught in the sticky, multifarious webs of rumination. A reminder to maybe take another look at discarded aphorisms and see if they speak differently to you this time around.

Ultimately, how things “turn-out” isn’t up to us. But what we might be able to have some degree of say in, is the attitude we take towards the unknown.

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Javier Busquet
Javier Busquet
14 Şub

Loved reading this. I hadn't thought of that phrase in a long time even though my mom and older people in my early life used to throw it around a lot- I'd always placed it in a strictly non-secular, literal meaning. But it does ring true in a more existential light now that I'm older, in a way that aligns with my current views on causality and "fate", and makes me wonder if there's other phrases or platitudes that I might've ruled out as an angsty teen for being corny. Phrases that would now be a helpful mantra for my adult self.

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