I wanted to write about a dream I had last night, but the Little Lad who claimed he was "so tiiiired" stayed up very, very late. This led to a conversation which I do not want to forget. It caused me to have one of those curious, child-inspired moments where surprise & a touch of awe blend together to make you cock your head & flash them a crooked smile while you stall-out in wonderment. It made me think & think again. So, the dream discussion will have to wait. This is one "for the files."
I read to the Little Lad from "A Little Book of Fairy Tales, Rhymes & Riddles," a small book which arrived in this special package: In the Drip of an Eave (something I intend to discuss further if life ever permits). He has been very enamored with the various rhymes & stories in this book. In fact, he startled me today by unexpectedly reciting one of the rhymes verbatim -- I had no idea he had memorized it. I did not think I had even read it enough times for him to have learned it.
By this evening, I had already read everything in the book with the exception of "The Maiden Without Hands" which I specifically avoided because it relies very heavily on certain concepts: "God," the "Devil," evil, piety, angels, etc. I knew this would require much question asking & answering -- not really the attributes of a sleep-inspiring bedtime story. Besides, we work very hard to leave concepts of cosmology open-ended, so concepts such as these require careful, delicate explanation. Honestly, sometimes I am just not in the mood, especially when I must explain belief systems which contain -- in my experience -- a great deal of objectionable content.
Anyway, we came to a part of the story in which the King employs the assistance of a priest who was to speak to a spirit for him. Of course, this precipitated a deluge of questions, beginning with, "What is a priest?" "What do they do?" In the course of this discussion, I tried to make it clear that there are many different names for people who are variously ordained to provide services to many, many different kinds of "churches" & that all those different people believe very different things about how the world works. I even gave him examples of people he knows personally who believe different things, attend various churches, or don't subscribe to any of it at all. All of this, of course, was explained in child-speak.
Once he seemed satisfied with my overview of human belief systems, he asked me if I knew what he thought about it. "Do you know who my god is?" "No," I answered. "You," was his reply. To this, I said, "I am not a god, I am just a human." Then he said something like, "Well, I believe in a goddess, like the one you sing about." I said, "Oh, like an Earth mother goddess..." He thought about that a moment. Then, his face transformed, like suddenly he remembered something he had long forgotten:
Dreamily, he looked over at me from the pillow, "You know what I think?"
Smiling, faintly, then mirthfully, "I think there's thousands of gods... thousands of them."
Looking dreamily across the ceiling, he continued, "This whole universe is made up of them. They're all out there in the universe, curled up."
Now, with a broad smile & great certainty, "Yes, curled up out there, like in eggs. Like all the solar system is filled with gods all curled up in eggs."
He went on to elaborate on size & scale & how they can be small & large. Like Jupiter, or Canis Majoris. I confess I failed to absorb a certain amount of the elaboration because my mind was reeling with images of colourful, curled up space gods whirling through the Milky Way in their eggs. Neither did I ask any further questions of him -- to insure that I would remember his words, his vision, just as they were & save them here. When years have passed, long after these entries have been printed & bound, I hope he has a chance to read this & consider how his cosmology has changed. Or hasn't.
Later, I will ask him to tell me more about it.
In the meantime, I wish for dreams with deity-filled eggs of the comos, big & small. All of them, out there, just being... & making up everything.
|An egg. What god resides within?|
Photo by Little Lad, taken with his own camera.