I looked forward, silence and darkness adorning the cavernous ceiling above me. Dusk was creeping forward; every second the glass dove’s colored light turning more and more grey. I shifted of my knees, the leather underneath sticking and saturated with sweat.
I zipped around, scanning every lonely pew.
The word hung in the air, a hallucinated echo through the cathedral. The white noise of running water in the background seemed so loud, the silence seeming so far away. With every echo the silence returned, in rushing waves that pounded against my ears. Again came the water, then the silence, then the water, and the silence once more.
I wonder now, years and years hence, how exactly sanity works. Would a child dreaming about a lost voice and imaginary waves of sound be insane? Is sanity simply an illusion spread through the masses?
His soul, they told me, was with the glass dove, above in the clouds and the kingdom of all souls.
Was that true?
Was that real?
Where is the glass dove’s kingdom? Where do the souls really go when released from a mortal sheath?
Is a soul truly real at all?
I looked into nothing, listening to nothing, enveloped in nothing, and was nothing. I wonder whether that’s how it began, questioning about his ascending soul above me in some land I’d never seen.
He who watches over me in the night. He who protects the weak and slays the wicked.
He who did nothing but watched as someone I loved died in front of my eyes.
What did He do, but watch as misery unfolded?
The silence was becoming unbearably loud.
What does He do, as millions die?
The water seemed to be rushing inside my skull.
WHAT DOES HE DO AT ALL?
I drew in a deep breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth.
My eyes turned up to the glass dove, who’s light was nearly gone.
I wondered why the dove was above us. I understood that it was considered beautiful and powerful, but I didn’t personally see why it was so high above the cathedral floor, above all of us below it.
So high above us that it gains credit for that which we, humanity, do.
Late at night when I was still awake I often dreamed about what I would do if I were the dove. I would give the poor of this world food and shelter, I’d give the great of this world rewards. I’d give the evil of this world the justice of the crow and the mercy of the dove.
A flutter came from behind me, and I did not turn. In front of the glass dove a bird blocked the light for a moment, soaring through the air.
My eyes were glued to the glass dove, who’s own eyes were glassy, uncaring, and fake. It’s expensively crafted panels were sharp and corrupted by dirt, unwashed in 500 years.
A chirp came from behind, a few flutters, and another chirp again.
Again the echo came in waves.
My eyes remained glued to the glassy, dirty dove.
He knows all.
He has all.
So then why do we suffer?
He has the power to stop all evil and does nothing.
The bird again chirped, with a very loud flutter.
I tore my eyes from the fake, cracking, corrupt dove and turned, scanning for the bird behind me.
But he wasn’t there.
Instead the color had faded from the rows and the rows of pews, and the statue of His son was nothing more then a sick sculpture.
Somehow every single dot and line in the world, in the architecture of creation was self-made. Everything had purpose, given to them by themselves and not dictated by Him, given reasons to live beyond the idea and practice of preparing to die. They were real, solid, unadulterated and, most importantly, not crafted of glass.
I rose from my knees and glanced one last time at the dove, but dusk had faded away and the darkness had taken hold. The glass dove was grey. It was a beautiful model, an ingenious design, but grey.
A small smile rose on my face.
I didn’t need him anymore.