"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Geezer and God

Old professor and God, driving down an empty highway in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

"I know a lot of people call this a 'God-forsaken' land, but I like the time alone."
    "Excuse me, that irritates me. How can someone call this "God-forsaken, if they believe in God, or for that matter, especially if they don't? I mean,  I do remember creating this place."
"You startled me. I thought I was here alone. How did you get here?
    "I've always been here. That's why I'm riding with you, and you're not alone."
"It feels like it. Not a lot of people understand why I come out here."
     "Why do you come out here then?"
 "Let me put it another way. It's a great place to get away from traffic, and noise and too many people."
    "But why do you come out here?"
"Gives me time to think, to enjoy wide-open spaces, the huge skies. Fuels my imagination. I get to talk to myself."
    "What about talking to Me?"
"I'll admit, this country makes you want to pray, because you realize you're pretty small, and not in control, and being in a hurry doesn't make sense. But talking to God wasn't at the top of the list."
     "Who said you had to pray to talk to God?"
"You know what I mean...."
    "Of course I do, I'm God,  but what makes you think all those other things you mentioned aren't the same as talking to me?"
"If I told people I was coming out here to talk to God, and that talking to myself was the same as talking to God, they'll think I was just a crazy old geezer."
    "Does that bother you?"
"I like being a geezer. It allows me to be who I am, and say what I want.  Sure, my students laugh at me, and other faculty just shake their heads in disbelief but they seem to enjoy it.
   "Why do you think they enjoy it?"
"I don't know. Maybe because there are so few characters left in bureaucracy, and civilization is trying to make cookie cutter people these days. Maybe individuality is refreshing."
   "I wouldn't call that 'civilization.'"
"Well, I don't either, which is why I come out here to talk to myself."
   "And me."
"Oh, God (uh, oops), I forgot."
    "So have a lot of people."

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