30 Aug Dear God
Borne out of intense sometimes heart-rending but always positive experiences of mine.
I sat on the beach and watched the waves crash against the shore. They were dark, angry and turbulent, reflecting exactly what I was feeling. “I am the sea”, I thought to myself. Every drop is a feeling and I’ve got as many drops as the sea, raging, burning and churning inside. The sardonic part of me, which won’t give up, said, “You’ll start looking like the sea if you don’t watch your weight”.
I felt him beside me before I saw him, this man in blue jeans and a white tee. I wasn’t in a mood for company, so I asked, rather rudely, “who are you and what do you want with me?”
“I’m God and I want nothing from you, I never have”.
I burst out laughing, my loud laugh, “ok atleast that’s original”.
He wasn’t laughing, but was just looking at me, his eyes calm, probing and deep, “people will never stop fascinating me, you pray to me, make idols of me and commit all kinds of atrocities in my name and keep asking to see me, but when you see me, you don’t believe it. What if all of you have met me, several times and just not recognized me?”
I didn’t know what to say to that, what could I say? Whatever else I imagined God to be, I didn’t imagine him to be wearing jeans and a tee, plonked on the sand beside me.
I sized him up, “Where the hell…oh oops, where is your halo and your white robes?”
“The dress code for Saturday is casual”, he said, smiling at me.
I raked my fingers through my unruly hair, “Listen”, I said wearily, “I’m hurting inside and I won’t make very good company”.
“I know”, he said quietly. “I know because I’m hurting with you, feeling everything you are. Do you want me to go?”
“Go…stay…whatever you want to do”.
“I’ll stay with you”.
We sat in silence, he in his world (quite literally) and me in the dark, murky vault of my mind.
“What shall I call you”, I asked after a while.
“Whatever you want. As I remember you have called me quite a few names. You lousy so-and-so, being one.” he chuckled.
“Have a beer with me”, I challenged.
“Sure, but you’ll have to stand me a beer”.
“What?? Can’t you make beer out of sand or something?”
“Ahh..parlor tricks to prove that I am indeed God. Your institutions keep saying that you have to be worthy of me but from where I’m standing I have to keep trying to be worthy of you, your trust, your acceptance. People blackmail or bribe me all the time. If I do this for them they will give me coconuts or light candles. Why do you suppose they think that I need coconuts or candles? Or worse they keep repeating the same verse over and over again. They must assume I’m deaf or very dim-witted”.
I turned that over in my mind, “So what’s your scene God?” I asked
“What do you think my scene is”?
“Stop that”, I snapped. “I counsel too you know. It’s hard enough for me to take you being God, I cannot handle a God who doubles as a shrink in his spare time”.
“I experience with you and through you. So it’s not ‘my will be done’, it’s ‘your will be done’, he said.
“Very generous of you”, I replied sarcastically, realizing at an intellectual level that I was transferring anger but I was so full of despair and fear and emptiness that I didn’t care. The tears spilt over from my eyes to run freely down my cheek. I looked at him and saw the same pain reflected in his eyes.
“Where were you”, I whispered.
“Tejo, did you want me to be there”? He asked me gently.
I didn’t. I hadn’t wanted him to be there.
“Believing in you is almost delusional” I spewed. “You’re an intangible, ephemeral concept. That’s what you are…a concept. You can be anything anyone wants you to be. Like an unstable theory. You seem…well…ineffective, so why would I have wanted you to be there.”
“What would you have had me do”?
“Make things right”.
“What would your role in life have been then?”
“Nothing except to live a charmed life”, said I, feeling a little foolish.
“I’ve heard you say – Oh God, so many times. I’ve heard you say it in pain, in ecstasy, in wonder, whenever other words failed you; all you could say was Oh God. I heard you then Tejo, I was you then, in your deepest, truest feeling, stripped of rationalization or externalization. What you saw and see as emptiness, is the capacity to hold more of life. I was, am and will always be your most intense experience.”
“Very wily. So then it stands to reason that I should consider myself lucky that I’ve had so many intense experiences and so I have been you, while in them”.
“How did you arrive at that conclusion?” he asked
“You’re doing it again”.
He laughed, almost as loudly as me. “You’re hard to resist”.
My mood had changed from angry to pensive. The fire that had burnt inside me had quietened down to easy licks of subduing flames. I clinked my bottle against his and said, “cheers to experiences and intensity then”, I said.
“You’re rebelling against all the reverence that you were taught to show me. Go ahead. It’s a refreshing change. Most reserve stoic, solemn silence for me. They just assume I can’t hear the cursing and their very loud voices and thoughts the rest of the time. Is there any way I can get rid of this reputation of being a grim, judgmental, authority-figure with absolutely no sense of humour?”
I smiled, “well if you want it changed it will be changed won’t it? I thought you could do pretty much as you please”.
“You’ve always known haven’t you? I am not the answer, you are. One thing I do know Tejo. I don’t make anything that is not beautiful.
“Yeah? What were you thinking when you made the commodore dragon?”
He laughed gently. “You’ve got to see it through my eyes”.
“I don’t feel beautiful at all right now”, I said in a small voice.
“That’s because you’re not seeing yourself the way you should be: the way you were meant to be. In fact, you are not seeing yourself at all. You are looking in all the wrong places. When you find yourself, you will know what I mean.”
“I want to remember that God”, I said.
“There will be times when you will forget and you’ll remember again. I hope you remember more often than you forget. Now here comes your friend, so let me say bye”.
“It’s been a pleasure God”.
“The pleasure has been entirely mine”, said God.
Quite a gentleman that!!
“Wait, can we do it again”, I asked.
“Whenever you…er… conceptualize,” he said with a wry grin.
“Touché”, I yelled at his retreating back.
He just waved goodbye in response.
“There you are”, breathed Corina. “Wow, who’s that”, she asked, gazing admiringly at the figure fading into the horizon.
“God”, I replied.
“Yeah”, she drooled, I know what you mean.