A year ago I set out on the road to God. Renata de Dios was my guide. She said she was a messenger from God. There was a storm. We lost track of each other. I turned back. I went back to my house, the ghost-ridden lowly bungalow.
During the half-hour that she was submerged, Neal said she looked down on her body from above and felt herself travel to a place where she met the spirits of departed family members.
The Testament According to the Jackdaw of Unreason
Belief in God goes against reason. Believing in a fantastic realm of a glorious Afterlife is irrational.
Reason stands like a pillar of logic on a solid foundation of fact. The reason the sun will come up tomorrow is because it has been coming up for 4.5 billion years and it’s perfectly logical — in fact, it’s a fact — that it will come up tomorrow.
Reason is rational, reason is sanity. Believing in God is irrational and insane. Only a lunatic could believe in God.
Enter the Jackdaw of Unreason. He believes in God. The very reason he’s called the Jackdaw of Unreason is because it doesn’t take reason to believe in God it takes unreason.
But, Jackdaw, saith I, playing the devil’s advocate, why would you believe in a God who calls you — that is, the jackdaw, the screech owl, the short-eared owl, the little owl, the fisher owl, the white owl, the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, the falcon, the raven, the hawk, the stork, the heron, the ostrich, the sea gull and the bat — “an abomination” among the birds? [Leviticus 11:13-19]
The Mad Bird of Metropolis
Does that seem unreasonable to you? the jackdaw slyly asks.
Yes it does, say I, falling into his trap.
I rest my case, he says with a wink of the eye.
The jackdaw is a lunatic. Not the kind of lunatic whose insanity derives from the phases of the moon, but a bona fide genuine madman, I mean madbird.
The jackdaw tells someone with reason, Forget your reason, get some unreason.
Reason won’t get you to Heaven. But unreason will. Furthermore, quoth the jackdaw, faith is unreason. Faith is believing in something when there is no proof that it exists. Faith is irrational.
Get some faith, says the jackdaw. Don’t question it, just stand firm like an irrational lunatic on a fantastic unfoundation of unreason.
Ah, that jackdaw, he’s one crazy bird.
Ingredients: Mix 7 decades of advancing age with 3 decades of memories and 2 years of loss and bereavement, plus 1 hard dose of covid lockdown, and you have the ingredients of a bedtime cocktail.
For an energetic, gregarious guy who hurried hither and yon in a global society, this is one cocktail that’s hard to swallow.
But, as the cat jumps up on the bed to keep me company, swallow it I do. Unlike late-night cocktails of yore with my wife, who departed this Earth before me, one of these suckers is enough.
It’s too early to sleep and I can’t concentrate to read, so I think about the structure of my Amendment to the Laws of Death. I have only just begun, there is still much to be worked out and written.
Section 1: Death
In the union of husband and wife, the husband shall predecease the wife. Rationale: Women (assuming the wife is a woman) are better equipped emotionally to handle the death of a spouse than vice versa. Throughout history the law of averages in an analysis of obituaries has shown that wives, who for our purpose here shall be designated as women, outlive their husbands, who etc etc shall be men. This law of averages shall be preferred and preserved.
Section 2: Afterlife
Oblivion shall hereby be abolished. Rationale: If Oblivion is abolished, over time it will cease to exist. But Something must fill the void since nothingness is an untenable concept.
What is that something? [Note: Work on this.]
The cat settles in on the foot of the bed for sleep. A sleepy look at me suggests I turn out the light. This I do. I can’t sleep but I have a lot to think about. Thirty years of memories.
People tell me to move on, to find a new companion and replace those memories with new ones. To which I say, Why the hell would I want to do that?
What is that something?