A gloomy Wednesday in Ohio with highs near 60. The sun went down at 8:30, there’s a waxing crescent moon, and I’m reading about God.

Here’s my first memory of God: I was five or six years old, crouched on the kitchen floor and feverishly rubbing a white crayon into a dark blue piece of construction paper. I still remember feeling a little crazy while doing this. I titled the resulting smudge “God” in the bottom right corner. The strongest part of this memory is feeling certain I’d uncovered what God looked like and not understanding why my parents weren’t more impressed with it.

This blurry scribble came to mind while reading Francesca Stavrakopoulou’s God: An Anatomy, which digs into the origins of the Judeo-Christian deity as a fleshy, breathing creature who was just as messy as the rest of us, prone to laughter, jealousy, and despair. He had parents (El and Athirat), and he moved through the world like we do, only on a grander scale. I like how Stavrakopoulou captures the psychology of three thousand years ago:

"The cosmic membrane separating the earthly from the otherworldly was highly porous and malleable, so that divinity in all its myriad forms could break through into the world of humans, whether it was perceived as a strange scent on the wind, a fleeting shape glimpsed from the corner of the eye, or felt at a powerful place in the landscape. But divinity was at its most tangible when materialized in images of the gods."

So I’ve been thinking about the cosmic membrane lately.