A Modern Cosmogony

I’ve always wanted to write a modern cosmogony, involving mostly magic realism with a dash of science fiction, based on the time-space continuum–that the arrow of time doesn’t exist in a forward linear fashion but rather the future can affect the present and has a direct impact on the past. Reverse psychology. Best example: Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman, a brilliant scientist and writer from MIT.

 Tonight, putting my preschool-age son to bed, he offered me perhaps the reason why I’ve always wanted to write a modern cosmogony. In the middle of our prayers, he says: Mom, did the Indians die in the lava? The weight of the universe comes down on us all once lovingly tucked into bed.

The what? I say.

The lava, he says. You know, like how the dinosaurs died when the great ball of fire crashed to the earth.

No, no, I say. And then my mind kind of races. You’ve heard kids are sponges, and this is both true and miraculous. It became in that second 100 percent palpable the impact we as parent-storytellers have on our children. Case in point: Santa Clause.

No, Native Americans (he cannot prounounce “native” very well and this upsets him, so Indians it is) were the first humans on this great land. They are Mother Nature’s  helpers. I actually say this even though in writing it now I sound at least 80 years old, maybe 85. I truly revere and admire Native American culture and ritual and their roots and all that they fight for and all that was taken away from them. But I have confused my son. On so many levels.

But I thought God was the first person on earth?

God’s not really a human, honey, although she is everywhere. She’s more of a spirit–soul, like the angels we talk about. Mind you, my son has always referred to God as a “she,” which I took as a definite sign that this is true, children being so close to having just come from there. Now I have confused my son even more. On so many levels.

So in my son’s mythology, dinosaurs, Indians, lava, and God all gathered to create the universe. Pretty cool. And that is his truth, for we all have our own oftentimes secret theory–the particular impressions and books and collective conscience and patterns and coincidences that aren’t coincidences and ideas. For children, there is no great schism between science and religion. They bask in true freedom of having dinosaurs fight elephants and God giving them chocolate mint ice cream just when they wanted it. They’re just trying to figure it all out and we as parents are just trying to not mess it all up. For there is no definitive, and that’s how we ended up thanking God for the Native American-Indians, keepers of the earth. Amen.


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