A Conversation - Farewell, MichaelRead
[It's with great sadness we note the passing of a long time friend of the Fool, MichaelRead. For almost twelve years, he has blessed us with his witticisms, humor, and expertise. A recipient of The Feste Award, Michael contributed much more than simple knowledge; his wisdom about humanity and core honesty uplifted us all. This is one of his last posts, and a fitting farewell from a much-loved Fool.]
Board: Retire Early CampFIRE
This foggy Sunday morning I sat on the upper balcony my hands wrapped around a hot cup of tea and sharing my buttered toast with my visitor, Jonathon Livingston, the seagull. Realize, I don’t speak seagull very well and Jonathon Livingston has made no attempt to learn human but he’s a good listener to me talking. I talked about God.
I said, “There’s this discussion on TMF about the existence of God. What do you believe?” Jonathon let out several squawks that could have meant, “More toast, please,” or “The Baal Shem Tov said God reveals himself in all that exists.” I couldn’t figure out which.
I said, “Many years ago I wrote ‘Man’s description of God is man’s description of man,’
so man can describe God in any part of that which exists but only to the extent that man can describe.” Jonathon Livingston pondered that for a few moments and ate more toast. I said, “Ghandi said something in the vein that God comes in the form of bread. To a seagull, then, God comes in the form of fish.”
Jonathon Livingston looked at me to say I had gone off topic. We were now discussing the manifestations of God but not if there were a God to create manifestation. So I got back to an earlier point: angry men see an angry god and loving men see a loving god. Both can be used as a permission to act in a certain way.
I realized we weren’t going to prove or disprove God’s existence no matter how this old Jew and a now better-fed seagull could manage. I said to Jonathon Livingston, “May you have a good day, as he left. But, before leaving, he gave a squawk that could have meant: “Thank you for the prayer. You would not have given it unless inside you felt it had a validity and there is a means invisible it can be completed.”
Or, “Thanks for the toast. See you tomorrow.”