Monday, March 26, 2012

The Weakest God

Now that you’ve told me what you believe in, friends (yes, yes! we’re all friends here) –
from Jesus to Deuteronomy, the Upanishads, the Tao,
from voodoo to Zen Buddhism to the Parsi fire,
Bahai and Jain and shaman and witch,
to those who believe only in what they can see
or count,
in mathematics and science, their bank statements, their willpower,
their own theater of illusions, the Void or the void,
indeed to those who believe in nothing, since there’s nothing to believe,
but the sharpness of their minds and the sufficiency of their experiences –
it is now my turn to confess my “faith”
and give you a chance to pity my naivete and illusions.
What follows is what I can almost believe in, friends.

A being, weak as a baby,
ignorant, helpless, hardly conscious enough
to be either cruel or kind –
bumbling, if oddly well-intentioned at heart –
such delicate work to create a water skate,
such compassion for the penguin, such curious taste! –
on occasion breaking out in mass murdering tantrums,
destroying whole worlds without quite realizing it:
gazing rapt at a butterfly while it lets cities burn;
yet, vaguely aware of what it is trying to become –
half-sleeping, half-awake, half-foolish, half-wise,
intoxicated by wild, aspiring dreams
that crumble in the sunlight of unrelenting dawns –
groping toward becoming – well, what it is,
in a sense: a sentient and conscious being,
incorporating not only the universe,
the one we are so small a part of,
but every possible world and combination of being,
a metaphysical beyond what we can say, even conceive,
in the final outward radiant expansion in space (if space it is)
and measurelessness of time (if indeed it is time):

the being that many of us have prayed to, put faith in,
or given our final hopes to, the meaning
our lives might have in an eternal promise
yielding an infinite fulfillment forever –

not our source and origin, but our goal, our purpose,
as we sweat – we strivers of mud and stardust –
struggle and dream, fumble and finger our way toward
weakly, half-foolishly, half-wisely, ignorant,
though oddly well-intentioned (when not too threatened),
and guilty of breaking out on occasion in mass murdering tantrums,
to bring to birth one day, our child: God.

This seems to me a deity worthy of faith and love,
as we cradle into being
out of the sweat of our dreams,
a baby –

I can almost believe in this, friends:
child of the human, animal, verdant, mineral, radiant worlds.


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