Tall Mountain

Some days it feels like the whole world is falling apart. Rife with hate, anger, violence, destruction–it can be hard to find the good. Emotional fatigue sets in. Apathy. Depression. So I take breaks from social media and the news, stare out the window, watch the birds, go for a walk, eat ice cream, pet the dog. Anything to allow my mind to take a deep breath.

I’ve always found religion interesting. As a non-religious person, watching from the sidelines, it can be confusing, scary, exciting, amusing, and enriching.

But sometimes it is entirely frustrating.

One evening my social anxiety and contempt for religious dogma collided and as I grappled with insomnia, this popped into my mind:

 

I climb the Tall Mountain 

Camera in hand 

To photograph god(s) in all its/their/her/his 

Glory. 

 

It takes a lifetime to summit 

Decades of devotion 

Moments of damnation 

Struggle 

Exhaustion 

 

When I reach the plateau 

It’s not what I expected 

But still I set up my camera 

To show the world what I’ve witnessed. 

 

The cudgel came down first 

Bludgeoned my senses 

I’d managed one picture

One click of the shutter.  

 

Blood pools around me 

I fumble in darkness

The memory card is all that I need.  

 

In my mouth I place it

I give up my last breath

To swallow the card 

My only testament. 

 

My body is disposed of 

Sent back to man.  

Carrying my gift 

From the Tall Mountain. 

 

I hope the whole world sees it

My one picture

And comes to know it

And realize: 

 

How in all its/their/her/his glory 

How bloody and violent god(s) can be.  

 

Flying with Najsha

Brussels

Last night insomnia struck.  The wind was roaring and the power went out.  While my sleeplessness was only worsened by the beeping of my surge protector, something came to mind.

It came suddenly, as these things often do during periods of insomnia and I don’t know where else such an idea would have popped into my mind in the wee hours of the morning if it weren’t for the tragic events that transpired in Brussels.

It’s been ten years since the end of the Fifty Years War, the Unholy War, the Angod War. It started out as Christianity versus Islam with Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans and everyone else getting caught in the middle. After the first few nuke strikes, the agnostics and atheists rose up against those that were left of the pious. And now we are all that’s left. We are wretched and destitute. A disheveled collection of devout and dissuaded. Bodies fall en masse, disease and starvation are our only liberation. There are no heroes or leaders rising from the ash. There is nothing to rebuild. Reserves are depleted. Resources are gone. The young and old died first and we are what’s left. There is no desire to save what’s left. Everyone is apathetic and exhausted. We wait for the end. Somewhere in the deep, dark forests of Africa and South America, where technology was never welcome and only the earth was worshiped, the cradles of civilization are being reborn. We are nothing to them. All will be forgotten. Our books will be dust to them and our history long forgotten. But somehow I can only hope that our errors will be discovered and for once, humanity will learn from its mistakes and as I drop down on my knees to rest beside a man who could have once been my enemy, I can only hope that my dust will become their salvation.