Blue Flower; Georgia O'Keeffe Pastel on Paper mounted to cardboard, 20 x 16 in
I need a stand up relationship with God. I must be able to argue and snivel and in the next moment stare him square in the eye. A God who demands of me a perpetual posture of below to above is of no use to me and I shall surely turn away. This may be illness or rebellion in me but the die is cast. I have made my commitment and expect of Him the same. This is just what is.
Actually, if there is any rhyme or reason to the Christian claim of God as Man in the form of Jesus, whom we are to strive to emulate His Image and Likeness, then this is it, that God is willing to be man sized for the purposes of relationship with us, with me. In that then there is potential that I can look at Him under certain conditions as if He is my size or I His.
If I argue with God, it is said, I lose. So what? That I can argue is deeply essential no matter the outcome. I am not alone in this realization. I believe it was Jacob in the Bible who wrestled with the angel in full knowledge of his condition and was struck lame for it, but blessed nonetheless.
I had to kill a bird, left for dead after a cat bite that paralyzed it. The killing broke my heart.
I wrote a poem, and in my poem was a rage within my grief, a shout, an arrow so compressed that it flew all the way to God.
Some years ago my poetry took on a mythic flavor and I became a character in my own poems, a mage, "the man of the Northern Wall". This apellation is not completely fictional. My middle name is Noordwal, a Dutch term for north wall, though in current Dutch it mainly means north bank as in riverbank. I was told that an ancestor, a Portugese Jew escaping the Inquisition, settled in a small Dutch town and took this name from where he settled, near the north wall of the town. I have thought for a long time that -wal meant wall, think my mother told me that. A linguist might say that my usage is no longer common, is an older usage, but then the Inquisition happened in Portugal a few centuries ago, right around the time the Moors lost control of the Iberian Peninsula and the Jews lost the modest protection given them by Islam. Now I write as this mage, my poetry persona.