” Supplication” / A Memorable Fancy #126

The god has begun ignoring us, perhaps because he is going deaf. He used to have better hearing, enough to catch the gist of what we were praying for, anyway. But then he began making small errors. We pardoned these mistakes because he was, after all, handicapped – and perhaps because we ourselves, when we prayed, may not have spoken in a loud, clear, and distinct voice.

Some said we didn’t know what we wanted, or were unhappy when we got it, and the god wasn’t deaf at all. It is we, they said, who mumble our prayers in terror, both hopeful and afraid of what will befall us. We are at fault. Others said that the god has already ceased to hear us, is making up, in his own mind, his ideas of what we want, making new kinds of mistakes, veering more and more from our well-being, drying up the crops, sending the barbarians.

Today a large comet appeared in the sky. It seems to be coming toward us. Prayers are being attempted by those who still remember how to pray. We wait for answers.

[– after Henri Michaux]


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