In “God’s Violin” Julia Vinograd imagines reality as a tune God plays on his violin.
Good and evil are only high and low
on one string of god’s violin.
There are other strings being played
stretching from our guts to the end of the world.
Like Annie Dillard Vinograd involves God in the business of silence. Unlike Dillard we are the ones whose silence is part of the music, not everything non-us.
Our silences wail under god’s fingers.
We don’t hear the song God’s playing, Vinograd says, being as we’re part of the song. Except sometimes. The mystic’s sudden apprehension of an extra reality –
sometimes … / an echo sweeps us up like a tidal wave / scattering everything we clutch and fight for / out of our hands like spilled popcorn / and we stand in the ruins and laugh. / Afterwards we don’t remember …
Then, and this was my favorite part of the poem, Vinograd admits her metaphor (or perhaps the existence of God?) is irrelevant.
God’s violin doesn’t help anything,
the world’s wounds are part of the music
and anyway, it’s too big.
She concludes the poem by saying the music is for us.
God’s violin is for us
We are such an inseparable ingredient in the tune that we can’t hear it? Except once in a crazy while when everything falls apart? When the tune is at its most dissonant? Then we hear – what? The symphony crashing down on our heads?
I find this sort of God more appealing than most, the God of paradox. Because God just doesn’t make sense. God is not capable of making sense. He is powerless before it. I’m okay with crazy God. But nobody much wants you to open your heart to crazy God and let him be your savior. He doesn’t seem to be in the saving business.
source: Cannibal Casserole: new & selected poems, 1996-2006, by Julia Vinograd