Hi, I'm God. I'm crazed. With wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, censorship (the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery removing a video from its "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" exhibit), sickness, envy, and recovering from my New Year's festivities, I barely have a chance to breathe. But, though I'm the Perfect Being, I'm not free of ego. When Scene4 asked me to write something personal, I couldn't say no. I just can't resist talking about Myself.
I won't spend too much time on my bio. It involves things like the void, eons, cosmology, theology, suffering, creating the universe, keeping tabs on the world, listening to prayers, playing poker with Satan. Reading my autobiography would be as boring as watching Sarah Palin's reality show in slow mo. Understanding it would make reading The Waves by Virginia Woolf in Chinese seem a breeze.
No, prose won't cut it. My story can be told best through poetry.
Before going poetic, allow me to reveal a little.
One of the questions I'm most frequently asked is: What was the impetus for the creation of the universe? How did our world begin?
My memory isn't what it used to be. That's what happens when you've been around for more than one millennium. But, here's how I remember the beginning of creation.
Long, long ago, before time began, I sat cross-legged on the floor at a workshop. I've always felt Myself to be an artist – and even then I wanted to become better at making art. Out of the primordial void, a voice instructed us to meditate. I never could do that. After faking it for an eon or two, the voice said we should take a stab at creating heaven and the earth. "Don't worry," it said, "about creating anything perfect or finished. Just see what You can do–what You'll come up with."
The voice's command was scary, but challenging. I don't buy into ethereal stuff like meditation, but I love hands-on stuff. I began making twigs, sticks, rocks, a snake, a bee, an apple. "Good!" the voice encouraged, "Now, try something bigger – something with more bite and heft."
Soon, I'd progressed from kittens and flowers to lions and humans. When I saw that the dull, colorless, blank void was getting to my newly minted men and women, I gave them weather, color, scents, honey, and a burning desire to make art. I figured they could be in the workshop with Me – that we could be artists together. If they wanted to.
If you're an artist, this won't surprise you. I'm still in the workshop. Still working on my creation. I've gotten really close in places, but I wonder if I'll ever get it right.
As for the humans joining my workshop? It's just as you've guessed. They loved the idea of a workshop. But they wanted to form their own workshop. I should say workshops. It seems as if every human by now has created his or her own workshop.
If I ever graduate from my workshop, Scene4 will be the first to know.
Below are three poems, written by my avatar Kathi Wolfe, which tell and comment on my story.
In the beginning, I flexed my muscles.
Strutting like a peacock chugging Red Bull,
I shoved the planets into the right places
(mountains weighed a ton!), ordered
the parrots to talk on cue, told the apes
to get a move on evolution and warned
the first boy and girl (what were their names?)
not to become know-it-alls. I wanted to be The Boss.
Not for long. The ants insisted I scrunch
down and test the security of their hills.
The kangaroos complained their pouches didn't
provide enough breathing room for their children.
The leopards disliked having spots. There's
a stigma against bodily differences, they murmured.
The humans demanded a cure for tone-deafness,
sibling rivalry, color-blindness, dandruff and zits.
Eons ago, I stepped down as CEO, leaving
the universe to run by committee, will-of-the-wisp,
hit or miss. Yet my creatures still talk to me, 24/7.
Of toddlers writing symphonies, Park Avenue doctors
killing their wives, injured turtles retiring from the sea.
Some days I get tired of being the Big Ear and want
to jump ship. But, how I'd miss the gossip,
the cable that jumpstarts the divine.
(Originally published in Innisfree Poetry Journal)
—for Hilary Tham
Let the day fetch the answers
that the night takes away.
Let there be room in the inn,
though life's a seedy hotel story.
Strike a deal with the sick:
though they may die of afflictions
so horrible that even You
will avert Your eyes,
their songs, like angels
sunbathing on the beach,
will echo in Your ear forever.
(Originally published in The Potomac Review)
On New Year's, You will resolve
to eat fewer sweets, exercise,
and be more patient with Your children.
By the third Tuesday of January,
You'll crave junk food,
have no time to work-out,
Your off-spring will leave home
to start their own lives.
Some of Your followers
will send You hate mail on Valentine's Day.
How dare you bless those queers! they'll write.
Two religious wars will erupt
on Good Friday. You'll break
bread with some atheist friends.
They want Me to be Earth Mother,
but I'm Diva Mom, You'll confess
to Yourself on Mother's Day.
In August, smells of sickness
and decay from Johannesburg
to Jersey City will flood Your nostrils.
Sometimes I find it hard
to believe in Myself,
You'll write in Your journal.
On Halloween, things will look up.
The kids, the candy, especially,
the parade in Greenwich Village
will make you feel like taking
the universe out for a spin.
Your joy will be short-lived.
In December, You'll have the holiday blues.
On New Year's Eve, You'll pull
Yourself together and start Your memoirs.
In the beginning was the word,
You'll tell Yourself to save Your soul.