Ga-ukogomen asked me, while I was drawing the markings above, "What do you think they are?"
"I don't know," I replied.
"Ignorance never stopped one of your kind from thinking." That sounds like he was sneering, but I don't think he was. Ga-ukogomen has an ego, which is very evident, but I do not assume I am able to understand how his ego works.
I paused and looked at my paper for a moment, but I really did not need time to consider it. "I think they are the names of God," I said.
"You don't believe in God, you are an atheist," said Ga-ukogomen.
I know it does not make sense, but that's what I feel when I am drawing these things. Like I am writing the name of God. "Maybe I'm a bad atheist, or a lapsed atheist," I told Ga-ukogomen. "It is not an easy thing to be."
I had been eating peanuts earlier; there were a few scattered shells on the table. I watched Ga-ukogomen peck at them and wondered why he needed to feign a bird's inquisitiveness. "They might not be the names of God, but they are names, right?" I asked him.
"All names are the names of God," he said.
I tried to hide my frustration. "That does not actually answer my question."
"All names are the names of God," he repeated.
"How can you say that? You are a far better atheist than I can ever hope to be." Ga-ukogomen, Nihr Avna-attu and Tsitao-utna have lived and died untold number of times, and have never encountered God. All three angels are convinced atheists.
"When all names are the names of God, it is easy to be an atheist." Ga-ukogomen abandoned the peanut shells and pretended to be interested in the sugar bowl. "You can hope."
Copyright © 2010 Eirene Kuanyin Skadhi