Author: Jeremy Marks

“People of Earth, we have come bearing a divine message: Your God is tired. He is announcing his retirement.”

A traditional flying saucer had landed in the badlands of the continental United States. The saucer broadcast its message on a frequency that was picked up by AM, FM, Ham, and Short Wave radio across the country.

The saucer’s pilots, a troupe of “aliens” had modeled their craft to resemble a ship taken from a 1950s era Sci-Fi flick. It was an intentional choice. These beings wanted to be seen by the most pedestrian imaginations.

In truth, the shape of their ship was irrelevant. As non-corporeal beings, they were not in possession of bodies. Nor did they actually travel through space-time. Their appearance was that of an apparition, what in the past would have been some witch doctor’s vision.

“Your God knows that some of you have seen him. His likeness displayed in temples and art is the currency of prophets and saints. But he insists on being experienced as immanence available to all. He is what your philosopher Collingwood called “not the mere absence of time . . . but as a mode of being which involves no change or lapse, because it contains everything necessary to itself at every moment of its own existence.”

Being a people accustomed to a spectacle, Americans would expect to see their visitors. The saucer alone would not be enough, so the aliens became a troupe of statuesque brunettes and blondes one might have found on the set of a major motion picture. They awaited their first interview. But instead of dropping in on Hollywood or Times Square, they chose a far corner of the American landscape, a place seemingly removed from the imagine-making machinery.

North Dakota.

For out in North Dakota is buried the lifeblood of America. Beneath its soil flows a crude primeval thunder, a lubricious lucre that powers the progress of the world’s richest empire. In a place where earth and sky once turned black with cloven hooves and pigeon wings, the Earth itself now turns up a thick, dark vector that dances its way onto graphs and charts and turns over pistons and cylinders.

“People of Earth, we assure you that your God is alive and aware of your pleas and demands, your hopes and wishes. He hears your woes and whinges but he insists that we bring you this further message:

“You must learn to act as though he, whom you love, lives among you. For you see, your God is like a star swelled to giant size, He now is more mass than energy. His form has grown apace with your trinkets, your inventions are a part of his expanded consciousness.

“So now you must learn what your teacher Aristotle said: That the human, restless for perfection, pushes the perfect away.

“People of Earth, you must find among you those who desire no more than to fulfill the requirements of life. Tread not upon them as they are your salvation. Be they anteater or ant.

“That is His message.”

The transmission ended while the aliens waited for the first spectators to show. They could be farmers or oil workers, media personalities and curiosity seekers. They knew how they had called these folks to come from across the vast prairie, their voices cutting across the swirling dust of rutting bison. Their words and phrases shaking the leaves of an occasional oak like the vibrations of a breeze.

What the aliens knew was that words are like mites: they trigger an itch. But their itch can start a stampede toward relief.