God left in the evening again. He’s doing some shift work and right now, he’s on nights. I watched him pull out, his hands gripping the wheel, his ragged head tipped forward, determined. Frustration burned in my soul and I wanted to scream. Night shifts are not good for anyone, especially when the company flips people back and forth every five days or so. In the next life, I hope God’s experience with this kind of work insures that no one has to give up their pleasant, warm, cozy bed and venture into the cruel, cold darkness to earn their way along. But the next life, who knows? God plays that one close to the vest.

It’s been hard to resist talking politics with God lately, but he’s too tired. Luckily, we’ve covered a lot of this ground at other points in our relationship. One time, when I was honestly considering whether abortion was wrong, and if so, whether society should take the choice away, God grabbed my attention. We were standing under an apple tree (true story) in early fall, and of course, apples are a result of a fertilized seed, and they were lovely. But each apple also contained a lot of fertilized seeds. And the weeds I hadn’t quite gotten pulled had an astounding number of fertilized seeds in fragile snowy circles, and the juicy tomatoes, and the tender corn. Fertilized seeds everywhere.

There are millions more fertilized seeds than could or should be brought to fruition in both the plant and animal worlds. This fact slammed me alongside the head. “Hey God,” I said. “They wouldn’t all fit, would they?”

All things fertilized are not meant for fruition. And bean sprouts are sprouts, not beans.

And humans have frontal lobes and consciousness. We anticipate the future, analyze the past, and make choices that greatly affect those around us. Some of our current choices might determine if human life can continue on this generous, bodacious earth. That’s how much choice God gives us. If there was ever a god who endorsed choice, it’s you, isn’t it God?

I said all this to God. I was not struck by lightning. Instead, the enormous responsibility of love descended on my shoulders. Mercy, not judgement. Justice, not expediency. Humility, not insistence. Wisdom, not rigidity. There are times when a pregnancy should not continue. This is a private matter. Usually painful and difficult. God’s warm lap and huge comforting arms are available, but not required.

In the soft humus of rotting leaves, I sat under the tree and ate my way around the worm holes in a crisp, tart apple. I raked up the bruised windfalls and gently put them in the compost where they’ll decompose—their essence a sweet scent, rising off the altar of endlessness, where Alpha and Omega play fearless, holy, circle games, propelled by joy.

This apple seed revelation was decades ago. I’ve still not been struck by lightning. I still wear the mantel of love, wrapped tight. God still turns to me, and me to God. In fact, I have some warm bread ready for when he stumbles home, and a darkened room where he can rest, undisturbed.


Quantum God


God and I woke rather early this morning. We like the dark warm half-consciousness where remnant of dream shapes the arrival of day. Our conversations are sometimes sleepy and subdued. Sometimes, playful or philosophical. The wee hours are long on magic and short on inhibition.

“Quantum God,” I said, feeling poetic. “I’ve been thinking. The sky goes on forever. Stars shed light with an intensity I cannot understand. Planets and planets and planets have moons. There are comets, galaxies. Everything is traveling but there’s no destiny. No location. It all goes on forever.”

God’s old bathrobe was some kind of polyester blend. Even the slightest movement caused sparkles of static electricity in the shadowy room. I paused, temporarily daunted by the sheer magnitude of all that I cannot understand.

I felt a wave of affection as God’s restlessness caused little snapping sounds in the room. “This isn’t news to you, is it?” I said. “The whole university is just an old robe draped on your massive shoulders. You could take it off any time you want. You could hang it up, or toss it on this overstuffed chair.”

God smiled patiently in the shadows, nodding like Carl Rogers, letting me find my way along this narrow path. I rolled over and started thinking about getting up. How would I start the day after my toast and coffee? What jobs would I tackle? What challenges would I face? How would I offer some love to this grasping, frightening world? How would I fill my soul?

“Quantum God,” I said. “Where do you go for your morning constitutional?  Where do you walk for delight?  For wonder?”

God looked quizzically at me, like I should already know this.“Why, wherever you go, sweetheart,” God said, arms folded, eyes warm.

“Wherever I go?” I repeated.

“Wherever you go.”  A firm answer this time. I think God wanted this to sink in. And it did. This was way too much responsibility.

“But I don’t always, I mean, the news lately sucks so much, some days I just. . .um, kind of lay around.”

Quantum God touched my arm. “I know.” The tone was gentle, but a little resigned. “I know.”



“Look, God.” I shouted, earlier this morning. “I’m still standing,” which wasn’t quite true. More like leaning. But upright, both feet planted firmly on the imperfect kitchen floor. I gazed hungrily out the north window. Not much had changed since yesterday. River steady. Nothing of substance, nothing ethereal suggesting itself.

At eye level, the horizon is deceptively close and the terrain between here and there seems…ah seems….oh fuck, what’s the word I’m looking for? Passable, hikeable, doable? My vocabulary shrinks and coarsens as my synapses thicken and collapse under the weight of age. I’m becoming simple—far less complex than dirt.

I have a plan. It involves five larges stones placed so that rainfall will drain to the pond instead of the basement. God has more or less approved this plan. “Yes,” God said, looking things over. “It’s best to make gravity your friend. Defiance rarely works in the long run.”

But this is hard for me. I love the tingle of perennial youth. My inner vision suits up, ready to have a go at the burly outer images I see in the mirror, so tangible and sure of themselves. Inner youth against Outer reality. Game on.

Game over. The lights go out, the teams pack up their gear, and stunned, I run to the parking lot. “No,” I yell at the top of my lungs. “Come back. This isn’t over.” My inner vision limps as it boards the bus for home. Life is too damn short for all this Outer reality.

I glimpse my image in the calmer part of the river, my bones giving way to water. It’s clear I’ll be gone someday. I wonder how to break this news to God. I know God will miss me terribly, and I’m sad about that. It occurs to me that I will miss myself as well.