God in the belly laugh of silence.
God came to town last week. He left several traces of his visit
I had heard of a young, unhurried man who had come amongst us. Devoid of anxiety he made himself at home. An artist of note, he spent time sketching at the coffee shop, and gardening at Temenos and only he knows what else. It was some time before I met him, as it always has to be when one meets God in such a clear form.
Mama Susan was in a playful mood. Expansive. She wanted to walk under the bulging moon, and be tickled by the breeze. Her sons wanted to walk with her, so off they set. Way past bedtime, but then it was weekend . Sage-Liam had a long piece of bamboo, but to him it was his pet long necked, leaf-eating dinosaur. Cian was a T-Rex. He was really enjoying the image of this beast, running up to something and pretending he was going to damage it and laughing when I pulled him away. And so we meandered down the blue gum lane when I heard a hammering. A hammering coming from a grove. As we drew closer I saw an outline of a head. I thought it was the potter, Paul, but upon closer inspection saw that it was this aspect of God called Neil. We introduced ourselves by name, and I introduced him to the children as God. They did not question this at all.
He was carving a piece of stone to resemble a calf. He felt that this would give solace to the cow that was in some distress, having recently had her babe removed.
It looked like a calf which amazed me. My efforts at carving were interesting in their failure. But here he had carved a calf. We went to show it to mama bovine.
Cian and he decided they needed to move this gentle beast to where the grass was a bit thicker. Perhaps that was part of her discontent. As soon as they had untied her she bolted. With God and Cian holding on her chain she shed her bovinity and ran. God held on and Cian after a few seconds let go. I laughed like a madwoman. Full throated, full bellied. Eventually, she was reharnessed.
We stopped at the village pub. Sit on the verandah due to the kids. Soon several people who were on their way somewhere had stopped and joined in.
God told the boys how he came into town on an ostrich called Streaky Spar. I could not repeat the story because the way it was told made it a one-off. Only I and the others, who heard it, will be able to journey into the minds archives and recess it, and re-enjoy it. Belly laugh after belly laugh continued.
We left the watering hole.
And wandered through the darkened streets of McGregor now in silence. Only once before in my life (apart from my partner) have I been with a male where there was no mask, no persona, no subtlety, and no fear. Not wanting anything from each other, it slipped into a realm of dream quality. No agendas. Our shadows stretching us into giants and diminishing us into gnomelets. Dogs always a few steps ahead. The long neck leaf-eating dinosaur safely in Sage’s hand. Cian still doing his T-Rex jive. God and I walking. No exchange of address, or any extension on this perfect walk.
A change of directions, a nod of gratitude. And God walked into the distance.
And in McGregor, he left such simple reminders of his presence, the trussed up tree, the stone calf, the streaky spar story and some quality that has remained that can simply not be put into words.