There are things called ‘arrow prayers’ among believers – brief prayers sent like arrows at times of crisis or need. Although shooting an arrow into the sky at God, to see him tumble out of his place of relative luxury, appeals to me, I’m not inclined to pray any kind of prayer anymore.
I’m going to go to visit my brother’s grave soon. He is buried too far away to visit often. The last time we were there was for his girlfriend’s funeral and burial. His birthday would have been soon and I’m not sure it is going to be an easy day, just like I don’t think I will ever feel the same way about Christmas (he died on Christmas day).
There will also be a retrospective exhibition of his artwork in a couple of months. And there is still so much to sort out to do with his affairs.
Obviously, I will not be praying at the grave, just as I didn’t pray at the funeral. Just as I have not taken communion for some time and have no plans to. I have not particularly taken to talking to Ad when alone. Maybe sometimes. But the gulf between the living and the dead seems to me to be greater than the speed of sound.
I came across a commercial AI chatbot service through which I could, conceivably, upload the conversations with Ad I have from texts, along with any stories, videos and pictures. Like in some Black Mirror episode. Without getting judgy towards those who choose to do this, I don’t think it is really necessary for the grieving process. Our ancestors never did it and I figure I have the videos and pictures to remind me anyway, without organising them into some AI system. I think that even Ad would think it was weird if I did it. Maybe it could help some.
I also have no particular urge to go to visit a medium or psychic. To be honest, I’m not entirely convinced that they could contact him anyway. Well, the dead may not be beyond our prayers, but at the moment that isn’t much of a comfort. All options are open though.
I cry some days. Some days are better than others. It has only been four months. I am still angry with God. A newspaper article read, ‘Even the most fervent believers often rage against God when they are grieving’. I don’t think I’m raging against God, but I’m very publicly saying that I think he is a thief, even if he is not really negligent or cruel. Of course, my brother never belonged to me, but it still feels very much like a theft. God, I feel, steals a lot, all the time saying these things belong to him anyway. Well, that’s what all thieves think isn’t it? That it is their right to steal.
What kind of thief is God? A jewel thief. Stealing the most valuable things. Intricately planning his next move. Seeking pearls of great price.
And all the time I know that this is not the end of his theft. Maybe this harsh accusation should be reversed back onto me, as usual, like some celestial mirror across the sky. To remind me of the things I have stolen. Or that some further irony should steal away other things and people simply because I have called God a thief.
Arrow words shot into the sky, only harming me, I hope. Simply something to witness. Nothing more.