A Divine Digression



We all have a God.

They lean in doorways. They press their faces against windows. They move furniture and find keys. They talk to us when people won’t. They hover and nod like Berlin angels.

They are all we have.

My God rings the downstairs bell after dinner or before breakfast. He drops by during sex or tears or as soon as you hear the bus turn the corner. He was in the neighborhood playing cribbage with Milton whose Dorothy passed away last March. The cancer, alivah shulum. God won three bucks forty five. He normally loses. Milton cheats.

My God smells of Swisher Sweets and Old Spice. He wears trousers that are one size too large and a sweater one size too small. Didn’t this have buttons? His jacket used to be hounds tooth, his overcoat is really nice camel hair from his daughter two birthdays ago. Soft. The pockets are still stitched shut.

My God wears a straw homburg with World Cup stitched into the band that has seen better days. He has three pairs of glasses, one for reading, one for distance, one for something that doesn’t matter since he can’t find them. He thinks he left them at his dentist’s. Nobody knows from the Lost and Found anymore.

My God wouldn’t mind sitting and visiting for a bit while he rests up. Tea would be fine. Lipton or something like that…y’know, the yellow one. He drinks it from a glass with a sugar cube between his teeth. If I had a little something stronger he wouldn’t say no. He couldn’t possible have the cake since the nurse he likes said he needs to watch that kind of stuff, but he’ll taste it to be polite. Store bought?

My God knows how to listen, and to ask little questions like "Why should she do that?" or "Where did the feet grow?” He never judges but always looks concerned, as if waiting for bad news. He always has a suggestion, just one, never more, and he always states it while looking out the window or checking the TV guide for Big Brother reruns. I’m just saying, but do what you want to do.

My God offers to give me a dime to use my phone. He lets me pay for his cab home since it’s late and you can’t be sure anymore, but he leaves a twenty under his glass. I find his third pair of glasses on the bookshelf after he leaves.

My God calls me boychik, and champ, and sport. He uses my full name when he wants to sound serious. He leaves me a number but never answers. He will get an email thing next month, they have this new discount on TV. He never says goodbye, just "see ya later" but never says when.

My God is mine.

We all have a God.

They are all we have.



  1. *smiles*

    My God is snarky. That’s really his main attribute, edged wit, sarcasm, and the sly sidewise smile. His hair is sometimes razor-cut and left to point in all directions, or long and tangled around oak leaves and raven feathers.

    His eyes are two different colors. Sometimes the left one is black. Sometimes the right one I can’t meet.

    He comes in, drops a bit of casual wisdom, and departs. We used to talk longer. These days, we don’t so much. Or I talk to him and I know he’s listening, but he won’t come closer anymore. He says it’s because of his wife. He loves her, but he doesn’t always understand her, these days. Women, he says dismissively. Oh, I so understand.

    My Goddess is endurance and madness. She has stood in place for decades, arms outstretched, becoming nothing but strength and bone, holding the bowl for the poison to fall in. When she was finally freed, and learned the thing she’d been tending for centuries had only borrowed her husband’s face, she went…a little around the bend. My God doesn’t blame her. But he does keep his distance.

    Sometimes she forgets the pain of endurance, the screaming in back and knees and joints, the fight to stay awake and aware and not let the bowl drop. Then she comes festooned in airy wings and glitter. That, she says, pointing like a child. Get me that. Get me that. Get me that.

    She’s the reason I have a stuffed pink flamingo and a pastel Ty seahorse on top of my monitor. She wanted them and she wouldn’t let me leave the store without them, tugging on my shoulder, breath smelling of mead and honeycakes, strawberries on the vine. Get me that. Get me that. Get me that.

    Who am I to deny her, if I can? She’s been through so much. The occasional indulgence, I think, is not too great a price to pay.

    It’s only when my God’s daughter surfaces, stillness etched in every fold of her robe, the one bone hand reaching out to curve around my shoulder…that I remember, this is not the normal family.

    Even for gods.

    But they’re mine.

  2. My God is a single mother, caring for her children and yelling at them from time to time. I gather that’s what brought the big bang on in the first place as she told her boys to clean up their Lego’s. Knowing boys they just threw them in the air and continued to play, messing with lemonade and sticky buns.

    God is inside me as i look at my loved ones, God is nature and shows herself on little specs of dew resting on a leaf. She shows herself when i drive to work through lanes of dark trees, taking away the light and feeding it to me again at the end of that branch covered road.
    She shows herself often even when i refuse to look. She just stands in front of me and has me bump into her.
    She will show herself today as i teach my students and see little lights appear above them as the start to grasp the information i am giving them… as they contact their own selves.

    I ll be sure to watch tonight and see her.

  3. My Goddess has bright eyes. They burn and burn and burn right through me, like the flowing hair of a beautiful comet. Terrifying and beautiful, my Goddess is.

    My Goddess speaks in riddles as I sleep. My Goddess holds my hand as I walk through my life, gently showing me a path through the sea, illustrating my future path when there is no path to be charted through the crashing waves.

    My Goddess is a cunning warrior. Stealthy and catlike, quiet yet fierce. My Goddess arouses my awe daily.

    My Goddess is patent, and when I stray from that path, she becomes stone silent. I can feel her distance, her sadness, when I turn my back on her.

    My Goddess implores me to trust her, to trust her guidance through the storm and crashing waves. I trust my Goddess’ advice, and she has never let me down when I have listened to her.

    My God is quiet and still. In the deep stillness, I can see his eyes burning bright. In the depths of the deepest still of sleep, my God shows me the images of the path my Goddess speaks soothingly about. He is a contemplative man, a man not often prone to action. But I know my God is a powerful man, and that stillness is not to ever be perceived as a weakness. For when he is aroused to action, it is a terrible sight.

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