At Sanctuary, that precious day of writing with other writers, we were given pieces of paper with words and phrases, and instructed to use them just as they were and fashion them into a dialogue. The words and phrases I received were: “I’m feeling cold.” “luscious” “loll” God, “What’s that?” and “I told you so.” Here’s what I came up with:
You have been asking for this for a very long time. Now you sit before your very own god and the space, as they say in therapy groups, is open.
God appears to be both kindly and ferocious in his wing-back chair, one foot swinging from the knee where it crosses over the other. He taps the arms of the chair, not with impatience, but rather as though he has picked up some divine beat.
“Luscious,” he says with a smile, his eyes resting on your face like warm sun.
“What’s that?” you ask. What sort of koan is that, you wonder.
“This life – it is luscious, full, ripe. Can’t you feel that just right now?” The smile never leaves his whole face.
“Sometimes,” you say, drifting a little, confused. You know you came to ask something. Something important, but it’s gone now; floated right out of your brain. It’s those wild calm eyes.
“How do you feel, then, right now?”
“I’m feeling cold.” You think honesty is the best choice. After all, this is god you’re talking to.
“Loll,” he says, his mouth opening into a gap-toothed grin.
“Loll?” You’re stunned. This is spiritual counsel?
You like the sounds of that, especially if that is the path to enlightenment, to peace. Lolling about, reading in the sun, writing poems and napping. “You mean I don’t have to do anything?” You’re already warmed by this. Your shoulders slide down and your belly softens.
His silvery hair shimmers with the shake of his head.
“I’m feeling warm already.”
“I told you so,” he says, his beautiful long-fingered hands splay out as if between them rests a platter of treasure.
“Yes, you did.” You tip forward to touch his bare feet. “Yes you did.”