Friday, June 1, 2012

A letter from a god

I've my regular ABC column up today, 'A letter from a god'.

It's a facsimile of a letter found inside an eighteenth-century book, purportedly written by a god. Obviously I can't verify the contents.  A sample:
Dear Sirs,  
This is the god writing to you. (You will note that I do not refer to myself here as 'God': god is a vocation, not a proper name. It is something I do: I god.) 
Do excuse my English. It is not my first language, and, over the millennia, I have chiefly preferred symbolism and natural disasters to plain speaking. The words come easily (of course), but they do not serve me well – not as, for example, a flood, plague or earthquake might do (of course).  
But I will, despite my reservations, press on. I am writing to you today because of the absurd things that are spoken, written and done in my name. I will clear my name, Sirs. (I use 'name' metaphorically, of course – since I have never told you my name, and never will.)  
You ask me – silently or in a loud ejaculation, it is all the same to me – why I did not write earlier? This is a healthy question. The answer is simple: this age is one of the most godless in history. It is, in other words, a suitable moment to write and be read. Secular eras are more rational than devout ones, and, since I am taking the time to write, I will be comprehended.
(Image: Pieter Claesz, 'Still Life with a Writing Quill')

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