THe eND oF tHiNgS – bIRds AnD tHiNGS

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The End of Things - Birds and Skulls

Summer has no valid beginning for those of us who live in cave-houses. There are no seasonal markers of light, sound or species. Just the endless breathing of underground water and the ceaseless scurry of the earthbound beetles. I could regret the passing of years if I were still a light-eater. I was once familiar with them and their ways for I was raised among them. I slept in bedrooms filled with the smooth clutter and belongings of comfort; I remember the skeletal city with it’s brightly lit¬†walkways and the pleasure of it’s nightly haunts. But here among the soil and roots I am unreachable and immune to loss. This has it’s own penalties. I am without clear memories and empty of sensation. My skin, once soft, is now brittle like the sap-weeping bark of an ancient oak. My throat, almost completely closed by the constant brutal damp of the surrounding mud. This damp must be a gift from God for I am now voiceless and dependant on silence. I have been weakened enough to finally surrender to His sodden and almighty embrace. It is in this silence that I found Him. It is here among the roots that I heard his breath and felt his low pulse echo through the caverns. I have come to know the true love of God through the wet and feeble spirituality of my feral characteristics.

In my cave I have fashioned a clandestine shelf in a wall of clay-lined mud. Upon it rests a few keepsakes of my descent from the world above to this world below; flint, various stones and rocks, a dull copper coin and three bird skulls. The skulls are my favourites. ‘Hello blackbird’ I say, ‘Hello sparrow’. They form the centre-piece of my alter to the mud-God. From Him I ask for nothing, from Him I expect everything. This is the proper way of things. I no longer doubt – why would I? I am protected and cared for by Him but spared no suffering. Is this not the true hallmark of divine love? I am no longer a hurried prayer-keeper like I was in my youth. I am patient and follow no ritual or order. My faith is free from theology, unshackled by fear and dogma. I can commune directly with God. I need only whisper for I am in His belly and know that my words reach him unhindered by the noise and calamity of the human world. I am truly in the artery of God and I keenly feel that blessing.

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