Are You There, God?  It’s Us, the Humans

Milton’s Paradise Lost, illustration “Satan Exulting over Eve” by William Blake

We stood in the yard under the moon.  Our conversation with God was less poignant than Margaret’s in the 1970 Judy Blume book, Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret.  I imagine Margaret was more respectful, though I admit I haven’t read the book.  

I began the skirmish.  “I wish you were dead, God.”

My friend picked up the ball with “See you in hell, God.”

Okay, we’re women.  We try to look on the bright side.  Coronavirus? Bring it on!  We can stay indoors indefinitely and disinfect doorknobs–until we can’t. The mad washing of hands goes on, but we’re done wiping down stainless steel fixtures and tea kettle handles.  Our contacts with carriers are limited, and, frankly, I would rather read my book than be a slave to Lysol. This is not to say I’m perusing the most challenging books when I’m not wiping the counter.   Nope, I’m rereading “comfort” books:  Milton’s Paradise Lost Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, and Tolstoy’s War and Peace. 

I semi-prayed at first, but gave up.  It’s obnoxious to take the Name of the Lord in Vain, but I envision the Miltonic God of Paradise Lost and feel angry.  I curse the god of Clorox.  On the other hand, I admire Jesus in Paradise Regained. so maybe I should reread that instead.

Don’t we deserve to curse?  My friend was hospitalized with a broken arm, two broken ribs, and fractured vertebrae.  Alone in the hospital, she begged me to visit.  No visitors were allowed because of coronavirus. 

Yes, I understand, but I also begged the nurse to find some way we could care for her at home. That was not possible at the time.   

And so she’s finally out, and we’re cursing in the back yard.

Are you there, God?  It’s us, the humans.

6 thoughts on “Are You There, God?  It’s Us, the Humans”

  1. I’m must say I’m tired of the self-isolation although I do see some good things coming out of it. I just came in from watching my neighbour’s weekly concert on his front lawn and on my walk there are beautiful painted stones that someone has left along the trail. I’ve seen so much creativity and kids doing outdoor things that they used to do but often don’t have time for anymore. It’s really quite uplifting.

    I find the news does so much to panic everyone that I’ve been selective and looking for good information. This Youtube video is very interesting: It’s a professor from the Virology Institute at the University of Bonn where they have done a study of COVID in Heidelberg (they were the hardest hit region) and where they’ve found people with antibodies already which means it was probably around awhile and that the death rate is much lower than suspected. There’s lots of other good information on immunity, mutation, etc. I was distressed that New York (and possibly other places in the U.S.) are calling many respiratory deaths COVID now without any testing. That makes things look much worse and panics people. I don’t think it’s wise.

    Here in our province they released figures yesterday and our mean age of death is 86 years old. We’ve also done a reasonably good job of social distancing and they say it doesn’t appear the virus is spreading from people going shopping, etc. with the 2 metre distance we are told to keep. So that’s good news for us here.

    I do sympathize with you not being able to visit your friend. I have friends who are both ill and I was helping them but I can’t now. It’s very frustrating.

    In any case, Kat, keep well and let’s hope it’s all over soon!

    1. That is such good news about the antibodies. Stanford has done a study about it, too. So let us hope this virus gets under control soon. I’m not of the “too soon” camp–but as soon as it’s safe!

  2. War and Peace is the ultimate book for comfort and consolation. After, of course, all that hand washing and disinfecting. (Lucky you if you have lots of Lysol! My only supply was a fluke: I bought a can of spray and a container of wipes because mice nested in my car. So thanks to the mice — otherwise I wouldn’t have had any. Hurray for hydrogen peroxide, too! I can even lighten my hair after my next self-cut!) Stay well!

    1. I do love spending time with the Rostovs! It’s such a weird time: we find some things we need, but I have heard people can’t find disinfectant. The mask thing was the biggest headache, because they were hard to find when the CDC finally announced we needed them.

  3. William Empson’s Milton’s God is the best book I know on Paradise Lost – and God.
    The other author to read is Oolon Colluphid, the author of philosophical blockbusters entitled Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God’s Greatest Mistakes and Who is this God Person Anyway? and Well, That About Wraps It Up For God. Colluphid is also said to have written two additional books entitled Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Guilt But Were Too Ashamed To Ask and Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Sex But Have Been Forced to Find Out.
    Unfortunately, he is fictional.

    1. Empson sounds like the perfect companion. And it seems I must finally read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, so thanks for introducing me to Oolong Colluphid.

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