- Rita Sommers-Flanagan
God Goes Microbial
There are two kinds of people, three kinds of narrative plots, four seasons, five fingers, and fifty ways to leave your lover. But there’s only one of you, right God?
“No,” God said. “That doesn’t work for me.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said. “And your multiplicity, untethered creativity, unfathomable magnitude…these don’t work for me.”
“Yeah, I know,” God said. And we sat for a while.
“There might be water on one of Jupiter’s moons,” I said, making the kind of small talk I thought God might enjoy.
“Yes, I heard about that little discovery,” God said, feigning polite interest. “Would you like to go there?”
I thought for a while. “Probably not,” I said. “I’m going to plant some corn tomorrow, and I’d like to see how it does this year. We had a problem with our soil last summer.”
“Okay,” God said. “That’s fine. I’ve been feeling a little microbial anyway.”
“Microbial?” I said, narrowing my eyes. This is one of the many ways God makes me crazy, shifting from planetary to cellular. Reminding me we’re not just surrounded, we’re invaded.
“Let’s stop talking, okay?” I said. Even though God co-authors this blog and is, generally, one of my main sources of inspiration, I wasn’t up for her antics . “You freak me out. Death freaks me out. Being human is harder than you seem to remember. Meaningless lives at my elbow. Suffering sometimes stays the night. How am I supposed to cope? You aren’t much help, you know.”
“I know,” God said. “Do you think it would be better if we’d never met?”
“Maybe,” I said. “But we have met, and I’ll remember that until, well, at least until my mind goes. You’re memorable, even in your haziest forms. Even in your fleeting appearances. Even in your gut-wrenching truths. Even in your damn contradictions and cosmic jokes. Even in your silence, your absence, your failed experiments. Oh, yeah. You’re memorable, you no-see-’em, no-name, no-limits, infinite Beyondness. Maddeningly, mystifyingly memorable.”
“Glad to hear it,” God said. “And you’re memorable too.”
“Fine,” I said, and made a guttural growling sound. “Want to help me in the garden?”
“Sure,” God said. “Thought you’d never ask.”
Rita Sommers-Flanagan is a clinical psychologist, author, jogger, gardener, weed-puller, and aspiring mystic. She is woefully monolinguistic in human languages but has regular (sometimes unwilling) bilingual conversations with The Universe, who insists on co-authorship in certain practices. The translations required can be both exhausting and exhilarating. She hales from Montana and claims close relationships with locally famous people who are trying to save the earth and care for each other. She is both sad and happy, broken and whole, brilliant and dimwitted, old and young. She is alive in the moment and often claims that is enough.