Saturday, 19 April 2008
It's been almost ten years and the man never came back, he often spoke to me but when I answered he didn't hear me and instead heard something of his own imagining, which of course, is his choice. Unfortunately for him he wasn't of sufficient awareness to imagine anything more than everyone before him had been able to imagine. He has set about teaching everyone that I am the manifestation of goodness, that there are evil demons which posess you and 'make' you do things and that humanity was banished from a place of paradise.
I've been a bit surprised really, given how contrite he seemed to be when seeking forgiveness for his actions, that he should so quickly fix on an answer - an answer that was at odds with everything we had been discussing. And so he has enabled more people to speak to me, to request things and to worship me. They ask me these things and I tell them the truth, that the things they request of me are theirs to give and that worshipping me isn't really neccessary because I won't intervene whether they pray every day or never, worshippping themselves and their own innate power would be much better. But they don't hear this, they believe I've told them to defend themselves against blasphemers and that my gifts are determined by the level of worship.
I've been watching the nomads, the people who lost sons and fathers to the settlers all that time ago. Not suprisingly this is where the soul searching (literally) has been taking place. It started with the mothers and wives.
For many weeks after the attacks the mothers and wives would huddle together at the end of the day, in silence, before gently crying themselves and each other to sleep. As the women outnumbered the men in many of these groups after the attack the response was not as violent as I had expected. There were some women who were ready to wreak their revenge on the families of their children's murderers but many could not bring this level of horror on to another and so they agreed not to discuss the issue further. Some more years went buy and younger members of the societies began to ask questions, which led to more questions until they finally settled on one key question.
One person, a girl named Mariam asked the central question "Why would God do this to us? We who praised him and we who lead good lives." But she already knew the answer, and when the crowd were unable to answer she shared her knowledge "Because God did not do this, nor could he stop this from happening!" The news shocked many of the assembled crowd - a number of whom who had fought the setttlers - they derired her blasphemy and chased her out of the village, throwing stones at her and spitting.
She ran into the dessert and fell to the ground. She stood back up again. "You're doing this to test me, to see what I choose to do with this situation." she was listening properly but nothing came yet, I wanted to hear a little more, "I saw a lamb stuck in the roots of a tree yesterday and I freed that animal so that it could return to the flock. It was good for the lamb that I did this, but last night my choice may have meant that a jackal would have gone hungry." She said, somewhat cryptically. For some reason people feel more comfortable talking to me as if I was a 3rd century foreign-traveller-cum-mystic. I replied "Yes. I know what you are inferring, that good and bad is a subjective view, but what does that matter?"
"I know that you didn't throw my family out of the garden and I know that you didn't stop the attack, but you didn't start it either, you don't make it rain and you don't make it shine." Said Mariam.
"I see. And I wonder why you have come to me now?" I asked.
"Because I know I have power, that you gave me, but I don't know how to use it."
Ooooh, I thought to myself earlier, this is going to be interesting!