In the lecture hall, down near the podium, I spotted God floating among the performers. I waved, and God winked–a massive slow wink that dimmed the lights and blew my head open. Time slowed to the pace of a heartbeat and then circled like the dancers, like the globe, like the unfamiliar sun. The Maori and Lakota, the Bashada, Samurai, Brahmins, Untouchables, Princes and Queens. Unsung women and disproportionate men.
After so much travel, so many miles, I was feeling alien. Insignificant. But the wink changed all that. I fell into the inner vision of first home, the fiery cosmos, the place where the Creator serves breakfast and wipes his hands on a dirty apron, happy to watch us eat. The place where the tables are long and the memories longer. The place where we remember that once, we were protons and neutrons, innocent waifs, glowing translucent blue and delicate ivory. We weren’t afraid, cradled in such a vast vision; there was no reason, no excuse, no boundary. Just the womb of God, waves breaking, white noise.
And even now, billions of years later, we’re sand on the shore, dust underfoot, waiting for the wind to lift us. We’re so small we can hardly even see ourselves, hard at work, stubborn and vicious, achieving little—unaware that we are irritants on the perfect surface of God’s gaze.
“Not exactly,” God interjected. “Not irritants. Just reasons to wink. So many reasons to wink.”
“I know,” I admitted. “I said that because I irritate myself. And these people irritate me to no end.”
“Jet lag?” God asked.
“Yeah,” I said. “And pavement and single-paned windows. Traffic and tariffs and men who’ve forgotten who they are.”
“I’m sure you’d be happy to remind them, heh?” God sounded Canadian. He elbowed me in the side.
“You bet I would,” I said, arms crossed, starting to see the humor. “And I’m sure that’d be well-received, don’t you think? Most men love instruction from feisty old white women.”
God and I had a good laugh, though I admit I had the thought, “But who are they going to listen to?” As far as I know, God ignored this mental query. He gradually rejoined the warriors dancing in the inferno, weapons ready, drums beating, feathers rising like sparks.
So much, I don’t know. But this, I’ve recently discovered: At the edge of the lower world, the little brown birds will eat from your hand if you hold absolutely still and you offer something they recognize as food.