has a picture of a cabin beside a lake. Light is streaming through a window, and there’s a creek running into the lake that seems lit up from within.
It also has a tiny thermometer embedded in the right side of its white plastic frame, and on the left side, just below an angel ad, a pen hangs at the end of a purple tassel.
It’s the third day of December but the calendar still shows November, and God has paused. He had reached over his desk to tear off November, but stopped.
There are many notes in the squares under the dates of November. If you read them all you’d be struck by God’s interest in such a broad variety of events, including the weather.
The calendar—a sort of daily-planner-slash-diary—was a gift from his right-hand angel, way back at the beginning. An angel, by the way, that he hasn’t seen in eons.
At the outset God was dedicated. An overachiever, really, in the diary and planning department. Even before cabins, or lakes for that matter, back when he was hovering over the face of the deep, and the deep was taking shape, you could find him recording his copious thoughts—most august, some whimsy.
But then came spring and God stayed outside later and later. Started feeling mellow. And when he came back to the calendar all he did was draw flowers, or doodle into the evening.
Summer was a write-off. There were entire months where God didn’t record a thing. He forgot about the calendar and simply enjoyed sitting on a hill, watching thousand-year-long sunsets.
Well, if you want to know, it’s only lately that God has gone back to the calendar, started recording again. And these last couple weeks of November, he’s written reams—fragments the length of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, perfectly fitted to the square of a single date. And all of it—God being God—sparkling. Discursive prose and narrative poetry that would rip your heart out if you read it.
It’s as though God is writing himself into a conclusion that still escapes him. Or is making space for something about which he has, of yet, no idea.
Which is why, perhaps, his passages read like lamentations, melancholic speculations with elements of self-doubt. (But you’d smile at the regular appearance of self-effacing satire.)
There’s some second guessing about how things would have gone had he been more directly involved. But it’s equivocal.
Mostly there’s grief, loss and pain, his own special pain of loneliness, of being misunderstood. Then there’s the whole confusion about his son.
There are a few thoughts about starting over. But he’s so very weary, and of course he tried that once before.
He recalls, with a cringe, the highlighted notes he made back in February about sacking evil doers; this, even before there were evil doers. He’s forgiven himself, he was green, naïve.
And now, staring into the calendar, it suddenly comes to him. He will end himself. Discharge himself. Fission in such a way as to shower the world with his very own positrons.
He will detonate at a distance and fall gently upon on every inanimate and animate thing—melt, sink, seep into every rill and rock, leech and leaf, feather and fin, fingernail and follicle.
He sees it in his mind’s eye. It’s a plan that grows on him. He looks to the heavens, does a few calculations in his head and thinks, yes, workable.
It’s exciting. This new plan. And that night, God has a hard time sleeping. He smiles, content, watching the northern lights.
His hope is immense. His dreams are full of rich harvests, warm reunions, lambs with lions, lagoons of molten guns, ploughshare monuments, dismantled barriers, fences, walls.
In the morning God rises, and before breakfast goes to the calendar, tears off November, crumples it in his hands and tosses it across the room to the waste basket (which he has yet to miss), reaches for the pen at the end of the purple tassel, and writes beneath December 31: To do: fly into that perfect star and atomize.
-Thomas Kinkade painting