‘The idiot,’ Paul laughs outrageously, teeth smiling, ‘why would he have even gone there. Abraham, poor old Abraham.’ I had just finished telling a story, a story of the family. This family sat like a cluster of mushrooms in the field. They loved one another. And with the breeze the pollen from one landed on another. Sexed up, the mushrooms scattered, they peeled across the valley floor. ‘Poor Abraham,’ Paul barks, ‘he is always dragged through the dirt.’
It was Hegel’s belief that Abraham began the world, fated it, to an inhuman end. He called it the invention of law. The absolute. Abraham, he believed, created God. It was the only thing he could do to give himself the right to do, well, whatever he pleased. For Hegel, the most egregious act from Abraham came when he originally headed East. He left his family for forever, with this act, you might say he crossed the infinite line, forever. And for what? Why?
For nothing. Because of nothing. That is what Hegel would say. No one, not a single reason is given in the text. No fights, no problems, no real dreams. He just does. Not a single lot cast, not a single thought cast upon the ripple his actions might have upon his family. The family, his lifeblood. Abraham heads into the sunrise, we are told, for who knows what reason. No reason, except that God told him, Hegel would say, and no one can question that.
That is law. Not a single question asked.
‘Like that?’ Paul interrupts, ‘sexy, right? He must have made a sexy family.’ He giggles himself silly. ‘He must have been good looking. I could never pull that off.’
But while Hegel might be onto an interesting line, a hermeneutical gesture, into the reality of a fleshy Abraham facing the earth and clinging towards the horizon I am broken. Shattered. There is a single question, that if anyone who took this thought seriously would ask. Why then, the question would begin, is this God so dumb? Why is it that Abraham, even, has such a difficult time trying to coherently understand him. You would think, if it was farce, Abraham would have been careful not to show any light into the fiction of his words.
He might not have even let Sarah doubt…
But there is fiction, deep seated reveries, into the story-telling of the Hebrew. Abraham permits the face of the enigma to cusp for air. ‘I remember hearing about how Abraham was like a gentle young silky soul,’ Paul enters, ‘he use to have the hiccups for days. One hiccup, it is told, twinkled like the eye of god.’
There sat this god on a hill, in a bush, like an incense. He was real, he was a realist. An inconsistency here, a drop in the story there, to be picked up later. Who knows how much later? There was a story, a long narrative, but like a text there was nothing more or less than what had been read at that point. We conjecture, we review, from the text. God completely thrilled at every moment, pleased like dipping his finger in chocolate, with everything as it is. Sure, he wants more, but he cannot at the expense of the present moment. Is that a weakness? Or is that our weakness?
‘No name,’ Paul whistles noodles through his teeth, ‘he is no name because he doesn’t want us to think he is somewhere out there, beyond. He’s never been any where less than around you, me,’ he picks his teeth, ‘this noodle.’
The absolute, Hegel might say, but this absolute is not perfect, in our sense. ‘This god kisses roses, I’ve seen it,’ Paul throws his fork to the floor, ‘ a sexy god can be a realist also.’