Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Have no idea why my thoughts are revolving around the concept of "god" at this time of year, but will continue the theme for a while.

©DJH 1994 (first published in "Australasian Post" Oct 1994)

I am God, said the stranger, poking at the campfire with a stick.

“Yeah,” sneered Bert, lifting the bottle of rum with his knotty fist and taking a swig. Dark liquid trickled down his stubbled chin. “And I’m the Queen of Sheba.” Harry, sitting on the log next to him, snickered and said nothing.

The stranger had come into the camp at sundown just as the two stockmen finished unloading their truck. Hadn’t said much, just asked if he could share their fire. They agreed because he looked a decent sort of bloke. Average build, nondescript, with dark hair, rucksack and dusty boots.

They hadn’t seen him coming, and only noticed his arrival when the cattle dog pricked up its ears, scrambled out from under the truck, and trotted up to the stranger with ears erect and eyes bright. The stranger patted the dog and it was all so normal and natural that nobody thought much about it - except Harry, later.

“D’ya do miracles?” said Bert, suddenly. “Knew a bloke once. Regular pisspot. He thought he was Jesus Christ. The only miracle ‘e ever did was to turn wine into water.”

They all laughed at that. Bert dug Harry in the ribs with his elbow and Harry fell on the ground, still laughing. “If you reckon you’re God,” said Bert, “show us a miracle.”

The stranger looked at them across the campfire, the flames flickering deep in his eyes.

There was a long silence, then, “All right. Meet me on that hillside over there at four thirty tomorrow morning. I’ll see what I can do.”

Bert grunted. “Yer, well, better get ter bed, then.”

The desert night closed over them with its speckle of tiny noises and spangle of brilliant stars.

Bert began packing the truck in the icy, opalescent early light, and Harry huffed the fire into life for the billy of tea.

The dog barked twice, then ran across to the stranger standing on the hillside. The two men glanced at each other, remembering, then followed the dog.

“This’d better be quick,” said Bert, grumpy and hungover, “we hafta get ter six-mile camp before dark.”

“Only take a minute.” The stranger watched them, waiting. Bert impatient. Harry, curious.

“Are you goin’ ter wave yer arms about and say some magic words?” said Bert.

The stranger smiled. “If you like.” Then he turned and faced away, looking out across the vast open plain. He raised his hand high above his head and said “Abracadabra”. Monotone, as if he had said it a million times before

At that instant a great gout of fire burst from the horizon. A golden flood sped across the plain toward them. Magpies chortled. Kookaburras chuckled. A huge red kangaroo scrambled from under a bush, stood erect. Sniffed, surveyed, scratched, then bounded away. A lizard scuttled on to a rock at their feet then, startled, scurried off. A harem of wrens chittered through the bushes, and the men’s faces glowed, grew warm.

The stranger turned. “Well?” he said.

“Well what?” replied Bert.

The stranger waved his hand across the horizon. “That”, he said.

“That! That’s not a miracle. That’s just the bloody dawn!”

A slight smile shimmered at the corners of the stranger’s mouth. Without a word, he picked up his pack and walked off down the hillside.

“Bloody nutcase!” scoffed Bert.

Harry wasn’t quite so sure.



Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Davo!


Anonymous said...

Good one Davo, Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Did you write that? Should we start calling you Mr DJH?

Hmm, what's it saying? Natural events are miraculous, or miracles are actually natural events? Interesting.

(PS. I keep meaning to mention this - for any other commenter who has recently switched to a Beta Blogger and when making comments here now has to click on "Switch to your Google account" or whatever it is: either click on that first before writing your comment, or highlight & copy your comment before clicking the Google thing, because the comment will have disappeared by the time the new comment form opens.)

Davo said...

What if I refuse to switch (convert) to the "new" blogger account? Who wins the "sort the technical glitch" wars?? At some point will go independent, but haven't sorted out the theme, or base idiosyncratics .. that this blog depends on.

Davo said...

.. once upon a time there was something called "The Inquisition.

Defy it at yer peril.. heh.

Anonymous said...

If Blogger is going to execute you for being a heretic, let's hope it's not on the news.

You can use the last of your current templates in the new system (click "Revert to Classic Template" on the "Edit HTML" page or something... sorry, can't remember exactly) rather than the new drag-n-drop ones, so I think that theoretically it's possible for you to keep all your current customisations. Theories can be wrong though, and also I don't know what I'm talking about :)

Davo said...

Deirdre, If you have something specific to say, say it. Apologists are too difficult to handle, and may well be shouted at or deleted.

ON THIS SITE, i understand how it works, am very familiar with the "technicalities" of it.

I choose to NOT change this site just yet. End of story .. Guurgle is letting this site exist, and will keep it running as is, until it disappears into the mysts of cyberspace.

If anybody has a problem making a comment on this site.. be specific, will find an answer.

Davo said...

and yes, i get angry, sometimes I know why. tuff tit.

Davo said...

Dierdre, am backing off a bit. You are NOT as stupid as you pretend. Please don't play that game on my blog. Yup, can play word games.. use obscure references. Hide under the cloak of ignorance, am also guilty.

Please do not use that here. If you have information, say so; don't apologise for thinking. If you don't know - ask. arrrghhhh! Am not running a Forum where each subject and thread can be followed. Can do, have a website and ability to do so. This is a BLOG, a diary .. personal random thoughts as they occur. If someone comments.. I may respond .. but probably not. This media is not condusive to serious discussion of issues.

End of rant.

(too pssd, gone t bed)

Anonymous said...

Well Davo, ET has slowed down as it creeps up on 2 megabytes of text. Though clumsy in layout and over-stuffed with javascript doodads on the right sidebar, I am basically afraid it will all just disappear if I hit the "convert" button that Blahgrrr has offered me. And a greater nuisance I have already stumbled upon: since you must essentially be logged in with a Gmail account in order for the enabling session cookie to let you touch your "improved" blog, you cannot simultaneously run a long Blogger edit session AND rummage through a series of your gmail accounts because it will cut the cookies out from under your Blogger session. Do that and you get mysterious error messages, when you attempt to save input, telling you that you are not logged in...pain in the arse if you ask me.

I will admit that the re-engineered blogger lets me do some very interesting coding...perhaps a sample is forthcoming.

The shiniest tool in the satchel
Has never done its job,
Too fancy or special to apply.
The patina of rust and scracth'll
Always catch my eye.
I am a workman, not a fop.

May 2007 find you well, keep you engaged and leave you curious.

[and what, you may wonder, was that nonesense about cookies all about? well, note the "identity" blogger has ascribed to this comment. its bullshit. This is Greensmile talkin', but I happen to be reading the gmail associated with one of my other little tasks...and blogger can't stand it.]

Kurt Reply said...

You might be interested in this:

You can go to and download their free to use open source software to copy your entire blog and the comments too. (Click on the options on the second page and click on "include link" and then as the Criterion select "Links containing" and then put in the beginning of the url to your comments field. For me it was and then voila, blog with comments!) The file structure is rather large, and maybe not suitable as a back-up copy but at least you can have a copy of your blog and messages kept for safe keeping for whatever reasons.

Anonymous said...

Davo, what the hell are you talking about? (And I'm not playing stupid and never do unless joking, I really have no idea.) I wasn't apologising for anyone, and I'm not about to start doing it for myself either.

operationetc: I use the Google reader and if I've got that open while also logged in to Blogger, and then log out of the Reader, I then have to re-sign-in to Blogger. Can't remember - this might only happen after clearing cache and cookies after Reader, but the point is: it's annoying.

Kurt: Thanks for that idea - looks really useful.

Anonymous said...

Davo, I love the story. Long live Australian literature! "Such is Life" by Tom Collins (Joseph Furphy) is one of my favourite books, together with the novels of John Cowper Powys.

The point your story makes about the nature of miracles, or the relationship of miracles and nature, is one dear to my heart.

As for the new blogger, I was as suspicious as you but I took the precaution of starting a mirror blog first and testing it out before moving - as you have discovered and commented there. I did it because I realised that having gone to the new one, you cannot go back.

But I am happy with the new blogger, and like a swimmer to someone shivering on the shore I shout to you, "Come on in, it's lovely!"

Davo said...

(And I'm not playing stupid and never do unless joking, I really have no idea.) Sheesh, what sort of sentence is that, Deirdre. Very confusing.

Cheers Deed, and the rest of ya.. LIFE is confusing.

(and if Gargle gives me any more "please prove you are human being with some sort of intelligence and literary skills" test like lwhsyqbh, might just dig heels in and think - yup, can still focus, and type .. fuck ya.)

Davo said...

Yves, Australia is a dry country, with a dry sense of humour. The weather (and immigration, american TV) is changing .. perhaps the sense of humour will be forced to change.

Davo said...

Oooer, sorry folks, but apparently Gruppenfuehrer has changed all your identities. Not to worry, can guess who you are.. heh.