A horn blast started it all. It was a long explanation that was so deep and heavy I could feel it vibrating in my chest. My ears closed, trying to make sense of what was happening.
The drumming backbeat of time moves, as the master’s play with rules of their own design and blow through the mellow breaks that cross the thresholds of the mind.
I slide on scales with the wind blowing beneath my feet to cross oceans, while I body surf to land on a wave and stand at the shoreline looking out to the new world.
I find myself worshiped by the natives of this land. I bid them stand, and I try to explain that I am not their God.
The natives dismiss my denial and request I talk about myself, my greatness and where I come from.
They celebrate my arrival and in their music I listen to them sing of the past.
They sing of good hunts and legends. They sing of beliefs and speak of gods, but their gods had become pagan remembered things that no longer mattered to them.
“Where did your gods go?” I asked.
“They came from there,” they say pointing to a high mountaintop hidden in a cloudy mist. “One day they never return. None ever go there.”
I speak about my world and they celebrate me again as a God. At my first chance I flee the tribe and head to the mountain on my own.
My wish is to answer the question of this mystery.
I will climb the mountain and learn what is, and what is not, and what never was. I am certain there is another like me that began as something they were not, and abandoned these people.
I climb. It is a long and arduous venture, but I climb.
Alone and at great heights I slip again and again, and pull myself back up many times until finally I reach the pinnacle.
My body is battered and bloody. My fingers are ten kabobs of ravaged meat that are split and bleed.
This high the air is thin and I stand in the presence of the great nothing that was at one time everything to the people below. The silence is deafening and I fear the more time I spend alone in this emptiness, the closer I will come to my own insanity.
In the haze the plateau stretches out before me. I am higher than birds or goats and I see no evidence of God or gods in this domain.
So I walk through the misty emptiness searching for something until I bump head first into a great block wall. The height reaches up beyond the fog and disappears again.
On my right I am halted by a cliff face dropping to nothing and a hundred yards to my left the same.
The stones of the wall are smooth and steep and if I slip it will certainly be my end.
I climb, careful, making sure my raw fingers slip between the ridges to give a sturdy hold to my pull.
My body still aches from the first climb and has yet to heal, but still I climb. Hand over hand, days end and begin, using my legs to aid my ascent.
Now days long and thousands of feet with no end in my sight, I begin to feel the invasion of fatigue.
My wish is to find the gods or evidence of those who once resided at the top of this, but I fear I will find my own end when exhaustion consumes me and my body tumbles to the ground.
Pull, lift, reach and in the thick darkness my hand slips into empty air and slaps a flat stone.
What? My mind flashes to the land hidden from the tribes for so long. Their tales filled with gold and gods and other nondescript foreign things. Will I be killed for discovering the secrets of life in this land of above?
I rise to the edge, careful not to fall. I cannot see yet for the dark mist is thick. My breath is short and my head is light.
On my knees now I begin to crawl.
I am not atop a wall, but the beginning of a second plateau. The thin air allows no sound to travel beyond me and my hand slapping against the rock does not echo, but falls dead into the air. Indeed I can barely hear them myself.
I have come a very long way to find this great nothing that was supposed to be of the gods, the great ancient ones that are not or never were here.
Inch after inch on all fours through the mist I begin to contemplate this end and I wonder on turning back when my hand comes down to slap, flesh?
A foot! Or rather a toe, human, but one so large it too disappears in the thick mist.
I am afraid now, wondering what I have done, to have discovered myself in this arrogant journey in search of gods. Indeed I did not consider the possibility of what to do if I actually encountered one.
My breathing becomes hyper and labored in the thin air. Before I can make an announcement or protest my mind caves, and I am lost to the dark blackness of sleep.
When I awaken it is to the still thin air, but I am no longer amid the great black fog, but a solid white plateau stretching away from me as far as I can see in every direction.
Where is this place? I think to myself and I remember the great toe. Had I encountered a God?
Or did the God encounter you?
“Who is that?” I look around the vast empty white searching for the source of the voice.
It spoke again, but I had not the fortitude to answer. I stood dumb waiting to see what was addressing me.
I am here.
The sound seems to come from all around and I knew not what to do.
Who are you?
The voice had asked a direct question and I answered with my name and the land from whence I had come.
Why have you come here?
“I am here to seek the answers of these gods.”
Why have you come to do this?
“Because I was once a God of my land and I wish to find others that understand my plight. I am forgotten and lost in my world and you are ancient and lost. What is the meaning of this?”
We have never wished to be remembered or worshiped and in time we knew this would be the case. Time moves on for all and in the end all gods become legend, as new ones emerge and old ones fade into remembrance.
“But I do not wish to fade.”
What kind of God is this, vane and jealous? What is this pagan land from whence you hail? It must be anarchy this worship, everyone fighting for favor. A parent does not wish to be worshiped by its child. It only wishes to have that child know, to understand and grow, to live its life and make choices that by its own admonishment go on to become as good if not better than the maker. They are sometimes forgotten, but never far, and in generations things change. To be forgotten is inevitable.
“I will not be forgotten. I will drive my children to their end. I will make them remember for if they do not I will tell them they will be chastised if they forget me. I will cause them such fear and paranoia in the end they will have no choice.”
Silence came from the emptiness for a great time until the voice returned and it was sullen and reflective.
That happened once when I allowed my presence to become truly known. It was long ago and they decided to write stories and words to those stories about me. Happenings and incidents they called truth. It bred great multitudes of fear and through that fear, hatred and anger bred itself. Greed came forward from others who said they too had words which were mine and they in turn used them to control others. There were wars over the truth, wars over me.
My children fought for a time untold and shed oceans of blood, and though I tried, never again were my words heard so completely as when they were written in that one book. And I was forgotten. Lost to an entity that doesn’t and never will exist except in the minds and pages of a text that is changed by each printing and is different for each individual. They even created a nemesis to hold me at war with. No, if you truly love your children allow them to live their lives and grow and change. Let your words be words fueled by love and compassion.
“Love? Love you say. What is love? I did not climb this distance to seek love. I seek adoration and totality from my children and nothing less. Nothing! I heard of this great land where the gods were lost and had gone away and I came to rule. I will make your children follow me to their ends believing that I am you reincarnated, or I will say that I spoke to you and through that fear I will grow strong and I will always be remembered. And I will first begin by destroying you.”
You have no power to destroy me. I exist, an entity eternal and though my truth is forgotten I remain. I will not return to the world to cause more strife of my children. I will allow them to lead their lives as they see fit, their beliefs are their own, for good or for ill. I will not interfere.
“But why, when you say you love them so.”
It is because I love them that I will not interfere in their lives. My words are simple. My laws are uncomplicated and full of compassion. If they choose to accept the false tales and interpretations of another then so be it, but I will not stop them or stop loving them.
“Then if you will not be destroyed and will not fight I would leave and return to my land and become to my people the God I choose to be.”
Very well, I commend you. No other has ever traveled to this height. I did not believe it could be accomplished by men.
“Ah as I said I am no man.”
When the entity spoke it sounded as if it was smiling and its tone carried the coddling air of the parent to child.
True, you have said that and proven yourself extraordinary. Go with my blessing then, “God.” Be good to your people and they shall be good to you, but know you this, I will be watching as I have always, I laughed the day I created you.
“What do you mean? What right have you to…”
The air itself swirled about me, then thinned and faded and I found myself at the base of the wall. I looked over the edge of the mountain and wished I could have been brought back to the bottom. I had a long climb down.
I had found what I sought, but it was not what I thought it would be. I had things to think on.
God it had called me.
I smiled and began my descent from on high imagining the words I will use at the bottom to control these primitives.
If I was not a God before, I soon would be.