I was young–maybe only five or six years old–the first time I saw it. Or felt it. While my father snored in the next room, the Being revealed itself to me deep in the wilderness of my dreams. Shrouded in darkness and celestial light, it bent down to look at me and I still remember that overwhelming feeling; like Jonah being swallowed by the Whale, David meeting Goliath or Moses standing before God as he dictated his Commandments…
I felt like I stood before a cosmic behemoth, and my world contracted and expanded at the same time.
I know that we spoke that time but I cannot recall what was said. I just remember that overwhelming feeling of awe. I think I will always remember that feeling and, in many ways, I think that feeling has become me.
It guides my hands even now as I ram the shovel into the dry, dusty desert sand. We are far from the city lights, the last houses are long gone, the roads of men a memory, and only the guiding stars remain out here. The hole is getting big and deep but I know I am not yet done. The labour is hard work and my hands hurt, my arms ache and my back feels broken. Despite the chill in the night air, sweat is soaking me and I am wet to the bone. I pause and look up at the pale Moon, an echo of the Sun’s light, it keeps me company as both of us labour for someone greater.
The Being in my dreams has come many times since. At first, I sought to understand how, and then to understand why? These were the wrong questions like if Muhammad had questioned the angel Jibreel. But, like Isis patiently collecting the severed pieces of Osiris’ body throughout the Nile, the Being waited patiently for me to listen. And, only when I stopped asking and started listening, did I hear the Being’s message.
I discard the shovel, wipe the sweat from my eyes, and bend down. My hands are furiously digging up the cool, desert dirt. The new desert sands have been pierced and I am now digging through strange, older and ashen-grey sands that flake in my hands. Ashes of some long-lost age, I think. I am panting but I cannot stop, I am close now. We are close…
When I ran away from my father, the Being followed. Throughout my teenage years and into my twenties, the Being followed. Try as I might, it was waiting and watching. Every encounter, each awkward kiss or desperate intimacy with another, the Being was there. And I knew it was. Into young adulthood, the Being haunted all my relationships because they paled in comparison to the cosmic residence it held within me. Or over me. Every night and in every dream, the Being was always there until this waking world became pale in comparison to its behemothic presence…
Until I heard it.
What language it spoke, I do not know. Do gods care about such trivial things as language? How I understood it, though, I never questioned as Abraham never questioned Yahweh, or Marduk, Tiamat. The Being wanted me to know, and so I knew. And all of my mortal life fell away, material and personal trivialities all became dust in the face of a cosmic entity’s desire. Its singular need.
My need, my desire.
My raw fingers hit something hard. Of course it is here; it is where it said it is. I breathe in sharply, my heart pounding in my chest and my lungs burning. Electricity is running down my spine and, ignoring the blood and broken nails, I dig deeper. My blind fingers desperately feel around the smooth, cold surface. It tingles slightly, or is that me?
And then I manage to get a finger beneath the edge of its carved form, and I pull! Ashen, crumbling earth gives way as its lifts from where it was buried aeons ago and where the world had forgotten about it.
I lift the small statue up to the pale face of the Moon–screaming, crying, torn fingertips bleeding down my forearms as I shout in ecstasy! And by the light of the Moon, for the first time outside of my dreams, I clearly see my God’s horrific face.