The Eye of God
God went unrecognized when he came to New York. Of course in the media and
the culture at large, any semblance of him had been dead a long time. Inevitably then, no one knew what to
look for. But it was all the same
to him. He was not one for crowds, and the fact that he was male that day, made
him suspect to many who might otherwise have listened. He regretted it had come
to that, but what could he do? He had no heart for telling women that they were
made of the same impulses -- the good and the bad--that had made him too.
Besides, he preferred the anonymity. It left him free to wander, to study, to
listen. . . .
And there was much to see and do. His interest in flies for instance. He
took in everything he could find on them, especially the idea of the compound
eye. He thought it a fine metaphor for the hopelessness of human
squalor,--globe after globe of rococo bulges born out of silence and fetid
meat. Yet the eyes of a fly were no less beautiful for that, no less worthy of
respect, even reverence, if only for the miraculous phenomenon of surface
tension. . . .
To a certain extent he blamed himself for people's ignorance, not only of
how beautiful a fly could be, but of him and his ways, the life of one who
loves because it's the only position that is able to inhabit itself without
corruption. He liked the clarity in that, though it wasn't easy to get to. And
of course, in the end, he knew what no one else wanted to: that his love for
humanity did not make him responsible for them. Ultimately people would have to
grow up. If they did not, he could already see what would come. He would not be part of it in any way, yet he concluded that if things kept going the
way they had, humanity would destroy itself out of greed and its whims. There would be no need for flood or for
He would miss the world, he thought. It had been, in its way, a very fine place. Full of
drama, beauty, laughter and
disgrace, sadness and sorrow, emptiness and pain. But more than that, he had come to count on humanity as a
means to his own humility. Realizing only now how unusual he had been, having
been able to humanize himself long before there had ever been another human
being. And for just a moment, looking back, he regretted his vanity of long
ago, and the folly of creating so many in his image.
Or so he mused on his walk through the park. It was a fine spring day. The daffodils were wiggling
into the sky. Their yellow skins were like a silent sigh , and he could hear
their longing as a song of the seraphim . Above, them the clouds were an alien
whiteness, schooning through a little bay of blue. Such beauty held the massive
buildings intact, while the corners of Manhattan sagged into the dirt, and the
East river flowed past the brownstones and the iron works. He gave a bum a
dollar as he walked across the earth.
Then , without knowing exactly why, turned and walked into a little chapel near the park. There
was a statue of the Madonna that was yellowed with age and cracked along the
delicate crease of her left eye. It was a good piece of workmanship he thought
to himself. She had been beautiful then, and she was beautiful now.
It was then he realized how lonely he was . and in the pit of his stomach there grew a doubt that
ate at him until it writhed into the form of a serpent on a cloud, and he
felt once again a powerful remorse
for these pathetic ignorants. And then, in a moment of absolute agony, he
remembered how he had brought it all into being. -- the silence out of which he
had poured their forms, and the form of the world he had given them to inhabit.
It was so pure then, so clean. An unspoiled wilderness of absolute
possibility-- And he was tempted to believe he had done it all for himself,
purely as means of indulging his loneliness. That he had coerced these poor
creatures who had never asked to be born into an eternity of misery, for the
sake of his own.
It was then the fly set down on his arm. And in a moment of compassion for
its tiny little form, he looked up at himself from inside its thick clear
eyes, and saw himself sitting there, about to cry. A
pathetic spectacle. He felt
ridiculous. Because he was not sure in that moment whether he was crying for
himself or for the whole of the world, or something greater still. Of course, in the end it made little
difference. A tear for himself was a tear
for the rest. The fly looked up at him, and he looked back, hearing a
thought arrange itself with absolute clarity inside his head. "Nothing is for
nothing," the familiar voice said. And then the fly bit down, and he bit down