Friday, December 16, 2011

the epistemological limits of certain porous borders

God is talking to me. He’s using Geico television commercials. It seems he is not a particle, but all particles. Sub-atomic or not. Heavy or weightless. It’s more than a matter of matter. I know. God talks to me.

God appears to me as the spokesman in Geico commercials. I mean, come on, think about it: if God were going to go to all the trouble of coming on down to earth and taking on the form of a man, well, let’s just say he could’ve chosen a lot worse. The hair alone is enough. When he squints and asks that rhetorical question about saving money on car insurance, well, he’s really making that gesture just for my sake. There’s something hidden there, something he’s intimating just for me, a slight tic that’s so abstract and condensed in a single motion that only I’d notice it. Sometimes I don’t understand what he’s trying to say, and (I’m ashamed to admit) I grow angry with God. I wish that he’d not be so ambiguous and indirect, that he’d just come out with it already and tell me what’s what. But, I know, with patience I shall learn deeper meanings, and that if it were easy to get messages from God, well, everybody’d be doing it. No. I’m special. I’ve been chosen for a reason. I must concentrate and decipher deeper understandings in the context of God’s word. “Could switching to Geico really save you 15 percent or more on your car insurance?” Oh lord, you speak in such mysterious ways. I pray that faith will sustain me long enough to distill the essence from these things.

I maintain humbleness at all times. Saltines and tap water sustain me during the darkest hours. More than anything I wish to be less selfish, to accrue humility in the vast stocking of my soul as I flip through the channels of my Samsung 42-Inch High Definition Plasma TV. The commercials, they come and go. I maintain diligence, not letting the regularly scheduled programming interrupt my quest. I am waiting for a sign.

God speaks through a medium that will disguise him easily (nobody’d expect God to be making TV appearances) yet allow him to reach his “audience” (i.e., me) in the most accessible of ways. You see? It makes sense. I understand these things.

Reaching out, or at least attempting to, I get on my knees before the TV. The warm glow is comforting and soft. I close my eyes. I pray so hard it’s like my head will burst. Suffused with a steadfast belief that I am okay, that all is right with the world, that all is happening as it should, I send my love through the neon-lamp cells and phosphors, into the coaxial cables and optical fiber light pulses, away into the dark unknowns of the heavens. God answers my questions with a sly raise of his eyebrow, and I know that all is well. My sweat glistens, and I am healed, not forsaken, in the TV’s warm glow.

Curbing my emotional landscape, making amends for wrongs I’ve been too scared to make right, I take into consideration some pertinent questions: “Does Johnny Daniels play a mean fiddle? Does a 10-pound bag of flour make a really big biscuit? Was Abe Lincoln honest? Is having a snowball fight with Randy Johnson a bad idea? Is a bird in the hand worth two in the bush?” These are things that require deep, uninterrupted contemplation. I hit the mute button and stare into the HiDef pixels, searching for a deeper meaning, and all becomes a coagulated blur, and I am calm and content. My mind goes blank. I feel the lord streaming through me like ultraviolet photons. He is loving as he buffers and adjusts saturation levels. It is my duty to understand his recondite ways. I am blessed to be alive, spiriting along this particular journey that allows me a chance to comprehend the lord’s mysterious ways. For this I give thanks.

Dark days are upon us. Oh woe is me. My concentration is waning. I am shackled to distractions. Every flicker is a new direction to head in, a new essence to partake in. I fear that God has chosen a faulty vessel in me. His displeasure is palpable. The Geico spokesman leers at me. His disappointment is tangible. Did the cavemen really invent fire? Should I be listening between Foghorn Leghorn’s lines? Bafflement overcomes me. I lie awake at night, my mind replete with abstruse questions. Does Elmer Fudd have trouble with the letter R? Christ. There really are no easy answers, I must confess. And, without doubt, I am struggling to keep my weary head from the deep emptiness of the great abyss. My plight is my own and everybody’s.

‘Be steadfast in your convictions.’ That’s what I keep telling myself. I whisper it below the TV’s hum. A mantra in the ecru light. Something that gives me courage and conviction. ‘Certainly, woodchucks will keep chucking wood. And former drill sergeants do make terrible therapists.’ I have come to count on these small, good truths.

Does God want me to do unto others as I would have done to me? Perhaps. But I’m beginning to lean more towards the idea that God is not only unknowable, but that God does not even want to be known. Through the slick good looks of that fancy-pants Geico spokesperson, God is merely telling me to zip it and mind my own business. I remain awed, even while grasping dreams of the Higgs boson to my bosom, finally hoping for explanations as to why treasures on this earth must have mass, while being miffed still by the inner workings of the universe, or God, as if those weren’t one in the same.

Oh lord God, how I want to see the light. Hallowed be your cathodic filaments and rasterized image, holy your smooth skin and hair anointed with pomade. Speak to me in your rich velvety timbre. I am baptized beneath the babbling brook of your leering charm, your mesmerizing head cocks, your Rod-Serling poses and your dramatic pauses. Seeing doesn’t have to be believing. Just as an “are” or a “was” toboggans into a “because” as the massless photons go about their electromagnetic business as usual, never spun but always spinning, lost in the tepid water of the world’s great bathtub. I shall scream your message from the mountaintops, or maybe just whisper it from the roof of a Wal-Mart or a Home Depot, while kneeling (of course) with hands clasped and head bowed near the sun-baked slate: “Insure thyself against calamity. The time is upon us. Do not be defined merely but what you like. Click thy cursor on life’s sunnier side, for now, and blow out the candles of somebody else’s birthday cake. Yes is always the answer. Yes. Yes. Rich is the way. Yes. And, well, yes to all that too.”