Sunday, January 02, 2005

Lileks wraps up 2004

James Lileks ends the year discussing some deep subjects with Gnat. And reflecting on the subjectivity of beauty...
It's worth the time to read.


"Yes, hon."

"Why did God have to be born first?"

Out of nowhere, that. I swear she's telepathic.

"So he could make everything." That should do it! Next subject!

"But who borned God?"

"I don't know."

"You don't?" This is a surprise, since I know everything. In the course of the day I have explained the origins of dirt, seeds, leather, crayons, bagels and tin. What am I supposed to say? "We don't know, because our brains really aren't capable of getting that part, anymore than Jasper can understand how cars work; it's enough for him to know that they move. Of course, this could all be an echo of some ancient coping mechanism that ascribed the inexpicable manifestations of natural forces to a patriarchal, interventionist superbeing who demanded slavish obedience from the brutish, mewling meatbags he had created, and smote them when the mood took him. That's what some would say. That's too easy, by my lights. Either one requires faith; it depends what you want to have faith in.

Instead I just said:

"I mean God just is."

"Oh." Pause. "There are hundreds of skeletons in the town, and they're all inside us."

The number is in the millions, depending on how you define "town," but she had the basic idea down, so I didn't correct her. Happy to get off metaphysics, in any case.

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