Under the Influence

My head moves more fluidly (inside and out) after a smattering of beer—usually about half a bottle of Moose Drool. I achieve similar results by playing with the right amount of paint, rusted metal, knotty slabs of wood, rocks, or dirt. The right amount of God is a different formula. It ranges from less than none to cosmic tons.

“What do you mean, similar results?” God asks lazily from the kitchen where he’s adding a lot of cream to his coffee.

“Hmmm. Let me think about that,” I say, as if I’m going to answer. I’m sipping my Moose Drool, adjusting my lists, and enjoying the bright yellow birds hopping around in our diversely-cultured front yard. God melts through the window and into the lawn so quietly the birds don’t even notice they are now hopping around on God’s chest. This tickles God. He tries to hold still but the earth trembles. The great heart of God is gathering force as it comes apart in the dirt.

The trick with God is to stall. He’s got the worst case of attention deficit disorder ever. Humans with attention problems face a lot of challenges, but with God, it’s just another glorious day of goldfinches flitting across the wide expanse of everywhere at once.

Ah ha! Everywhere at once. That’s it. That’s my answer. The result of just enough paint, canvas, rock, metal, or beer is the momentary assurance that I’m in the right river, and I’m not going to drown. I’m everywhere and everyone. connected but alone, safe and in mortal danger; and I accept this eternally transitory condition as my own. As God. As a bright yellow bird.

“God,” I shout. “I have it!”

God surfaces and blinks. He’d fallen asleep among the holy invisibilities of existence. “You have what?” he asks, not fully awake.

“I have your answer,” I say, disappointed at his apparent confusion.

God scratches his rangy head. “I think I forgot the question, honey. Sorry about that.”

“God,” I say. “Sometimes, it seems like you’re not paying any attention to me at all. You’re too busy enjoying the yellow birds.”

 “You’re right. You’re absolutely right,” God admits with a guilty grin. “They’re so beguiling and fragile. So perfect and temporary. But then, so are you. I’ll try harder.”

“O.K.” I agree. It’s time to get dressed. I put on my bright yellow pants and a yellow hoodie.

“Look!” I shout to God from my yellowness. “This should make it easier for you.”  I’ve also added hot pink high-tops to my outfit. We both think this is very funny.