It was in the dim bathroom this morning, as I sat on the toilet and stared forward into the gray-blue hallway of fake-and-real hardwood, straight out at the white cotton bathmat left at a slight diagonal on the floor. All of its threads had been squashed by many long weeks of dripping-wet feet and babies and bathwater, leaving it in a state of near-flat, permanent dampness.
And yet the sight of it was so beautiful. I mean the limitless perfection of the thing. When people create something in a movie or a painting or a book or a video game you can see through all the holes if you look pretty closely, the nothingness and the fakeness of it glares straight out at you, but if you’re going to see the holes in Creation—even in something so innocuous as an ugly old bathmat—you have to break out some serious scientific equipment and start looking pretty damn hard if you’re going to try to get a look at the great black voids between the orbiting electrons that compose it.
I believe there’s a line in the Koran or the Hadith, I have no idea where, I wish to death I could find it, it just goes something like—a nonbeliever asks the Prophet or whoever where the evidence is for the existence of god. And the believer points at the beautiful mountains and deserts spreading out as far as the eye can see, pink in the morning haze, and says that this world is so inexpressibly beautiful, how could you ever doubt that it was designed by an infinite being?
But the caveat to a thought like that is that by its very nature an infinite being cannot condense its ideas into a limited book like the Bible or the Koran—the world itself, Creation itself, is the Message of God.
(if god exists)