Benjamin Goldstein, who might be Leigh, yesterday told me I had won. He did not make it clear what I had won, but told the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel, or what I assume was an angel of G-d.
Do you know that story? I didn't, not being well-versed in Biblical reference, and having had my Bible stolen by the people at church. I looked for a Bible at the place where I live and couldn't find one. How can there not be a Bible in the house? I'll have to get a Noss comparative religion book, both of my copies were stolen. So much of my stuff has been stolen. But it doesn't matter. From what Benjamin is telling me I have won the most important wrestling match of my life.
Okay, the story of Jacob, which is also the story of all prophets. He's alone, a being from the void appears and challenges him to a contest. Wait, this is also Gilgamesh and Ankidu. They wrestle for some time and neither can beat the other. It is so wearying for someone who's never even had to compete that hard and so refreshing to be meeting an equal that you'd like it to go one forever, but there are chores to do, so the angel (I think it wasn't exactly clear who asked what) asks Jacob to release him, and Jacob says, "not before you bless me." And the angel says, "from this day you shall not be called Jacob, but Yisrael (wrestler with G-d in Hebrew)."
So Benjamin said I should no longer be called Marko, but Yisrael. And I was very blown away by this, not knowing how to respond. Of course I have spent my life wrestling with the big questions of existence and I have known G-d in my life. I am not one of those people who thinks that perhaps I might have been intervened with. No, I am totally unequivocal in how I look at those events. I was going to die and something stopped the process so I could live. I call that G-d. If you want to call it something else, I'm cool with that, but don't call it chance, or coincidence. Coincidence happens, but when it happens for the twentieth time, coincidence starts to sound far fetched.
More than twenty years ago I wrote a story about how an angel named Oconos (a homage to Cronos that Benjamin pointed out, his name was originally Sonoco, the name of the mythical American Indian friend I had as a child, see all the connections?) who came to offer me a deal, a covenant, and I accept that deal. And then the Devil comes to offer me a better deal, but I have one question that the Devil won't answer and I won't take the deal until the Devil answers. I'm going to play coy with you here, because all of this will be part of the first novel that I will produce shortly. But the point is that all people who are touched by G-d are touched by the Devil too.
My point in saying this is that all of the predictions in that story have played out as told by Oconos. I could never have imagined how difficult this all would be, just writing a bunch of stories about my crazy life as the smartest man in the world (which Oconos tells me is not true, that I have misconstrued what my greatest gift is to be). I have been treated so horribly it's beyond imagination. And that I have come to this place of peace is beyond my wildest dreams.
G-d really does work in mysterious ways and those who believe they know the plan are deluded. The point is never to try to figure out the plan, for in that route lies madness. The point is to learn what being a good servant to your master is and let the master guide you. In performing that duty is found abundance, and bliss, and the caresses of angels with whom you have wrestled to a draw.
Love and peace to all on writerbeat and beyond. I take my message to the world on the phone, the most strange of the strange way things have appeared in my life, well, not really.