Friday, October 12, 2012

Trial by God



     Big sadness in the barn, there was no Traveler, no words of wisdom, no comfort to be drawn from the spit of the phrase "Convenience of  Direct Deposit."  Yet someone lives in the barn I know.  He is sometimes yellow haired, his eyes always dark as coal.  I'd guess eons ago he was laid to rest, with tears and perhaps flowers, and maybe they sang a song, and danced for him.  He is smaller than most, lame in his right leg from the day of his birth, a disadvantage some thought, and on his ninetieth birthday it was as though he had been alive forever.  And I guess it's this sort of moment that some might think real, because believing it real, has a value which satisfy's want.  More likely though the value of believing is gained from the believing of others.  And so you sit there, change the shape of your face to earnest, crumble into a humility, imagine no flesh on your bones as you turn the pages of your life looking for something other's might call sincerity, or worse.  Me, I look at that and know it's the idiot side of treachery, and it's too late.  Did God really speak to you?  Or is it you speaking for God.

     The mightiest Christian ever to walk this earth was Constantine.  He put the cross on the shields of his legionnaires and Christian tribes have loved him ever since.  So you can imagine my surprise when I returned from my chores to find Constantine sitting on my chair in the room where the television is.  He was watching the Weather Channel.  "Did you really want to be baptized in the River Jordan?"  I asked him.  "It was my mother's idea," he replied. "And she was tough about fashionable things.  So when I got sick I thought maybe she knew something I didn't."   "They made her a Saint," I reminded him.  He laughed, "Well, I guess they would.  After all she did watch while the slaves dug up the True Cross, all of them uncircumcised thank goodness.  And it was I who actually killed my eldest son and my second Empress. And I have always felt strange about that because she was a loyal Empress to me. She once saved my life. But I had had her father killed, so it was one of those tricky things, which is why my mother decided we'd leave my second Empress in an overheated bath.  Make it look like an accident."   Then I asked him what it was like to be dead.  "Dull sometimes," he replied.  And sure as eggs I hope he doesn't stay for supper.


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