The true nature of a god is loneliness. I know this now. It is the price of such power, it follows in its wake. You cannot commune with others that are, essentially, alien to you. It is to be separate. It is to love, but always in a detached, separate way. A god will never embrace his creation. It never can be.
I know this so well. I have created the weave of life and I have taken life with it. I have murdered a woman, but as I said, I will never be charged. No-one would ever guess, or believe if they did. Still, I am imprisoned for all that, in knowledge of what I have done, what I am and what that means.
I have not seen Richard since the day and I will never see him again of his own free will, I know. He called me, a few days later, crying down the phone and telling me the news, but also saying he has no heart for this city anymore, or for anything associated with it, including the art we have been working on together.
I understand of course, and assured him of this, though my heart breaks afresh with each word. I could paint him coming to me, I could paint him changing his mind. But would he really change his mind, and who would he be then, other than a captured butterfly, pinned to my wall? Beautiful but pointless and lifeless in all essential senses.
He is my love but I will never be his. And that seems as perfect a way of thinking about a god and his creation as I can imagine.
A friend of mine once said he thought God left the world because he became bored. He’s gone, he said, and what we have left is pointlessness.
No, what we have left is the unbounded tragedy of freedom. And God has left, I believe, for he would be heartsick to realise the truth, just as I am. You can only love something with a rich inner life, something which can choose to return that love. Without that, you are lost. But in creating us, he created the very choice that would alienate us from him, and in my painting I have done the same. The same.
So I cannot paint, never again. I cannot risk my power in this world, given it has stolen the only thing that could have mattered to me. I know, deep within, that Richard would never have loved me. His love moved towards a woman, not a man. But had I not painted our meetings perhaps we would have met in any case, and genuinely, and at least I could have the genuine friendship of the man, even now. Yes, it would be attended by the bitter pain of seeing him with his love, but he would be happy. And he would truly be my friend. And perhaps that would have – should have – been enough.
But now I will never know.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2015, All Rights Reserved