Who Art In Heaven

July 9, 2021

A god should never come down to earth. Not the Greek gods, or the Roman ones, or the Norse or the Egyptians. Certainly not the True God, should he exist. Humanity can’t handle it, sure, the line in all the handbooks, but there’s one other truth. Because humans have persevered for this long, we’d probably take it in stride. There’s a lot of them, see, and we all know the feeling of seeing someone who thinks they’re a god, fail. And that’s what the gods would do.

The gods can’t handle it. Zeus, down on our planet, falls in love with a mortal woman who cannot take it, so he leaves heartbroken. Zeus looks at her lying still and fails to remain, and this is his greatest mistake. This is the most common story too, but behind it lies another truth. It’s not always women or men the gods fall in love with.

How could Vulcan remember that he has to go back to Olympus when we have the cold glow of a computer screen here? How could the god of metallurgy not fall in love with the way people carry devices with all sorts of different buttons and functions?

What is Bast, goddess of cats, to do when she sees a city full of cats, except stay and become their leader? How could she do anything but love and worship them in return? They have always been one and the same.

How could Thor resist the photography of this world? Photos of his wrath, but photos of other things too: the northern lights illuminating a sky of black, the thousands of stars, not there to be memorised, but to be loved.

What is a god to do when they realize humanity is as Great as they are? That there are people in this world who have no powers nor godly names, but have instead courage and hope? How could they not fall in love with places and animals and ideas, when all they have are subjects and old myths?

How can Thoth’s powers not tremble in the wake of Bill Nye the Science Guy’s influence, how can he not be overshadowed by that one professor that makes their subject so interesting that you’re practically forced to learn?

Athena might go to college, if she were down on earth, but it would lead to a sad story of an overachieving girl who failed her first day on the job and returned shamefully back to her world.

How can Apollo truly live up to the archers at the olympics, watching he might feel shame or hatred towards his own skills. How can a god who was born with his powers truly live up to a kid who has been practicing every day of his life for a shot at this? How can he feel as though he earned his powers as the god of archery, when frankly he knows he didn’t?

How can a god not understand, when looking at museums filled with art and people so passionate about everything there is, that they are the ones that are lesser? How can they not realize that they are outclassed by their strong, willful, determined, and diverse subjects, the people who they can only look down upon because the gods cannot emulate them?

And in return, when will people realize that they are the strength of a god personified, their passion about hotwheels or baseball or princesses as strong and as enduring as the gods’ powers themselves? How can a person not realize that their practice, their determination, and their strength are stronger than any god who would dare approach them? How can they not realize that they are the gods in their own stories, and that nothing was stronger than the limits they broke?


Sierra Balleisen is a teenage poet and writer, and an avid J. Maya fan!

Featured Image by eberhard 🖐 grossgasteiger on Unsplash