HomeStoryFootprints In The Calcium Carbonate

Footprints In The Calcium Carbonate

One night I dreamed a dream that I was standing on a beach with God.

“Do you see those two sets of footprints?” the Lord asked me.

“Yeah!” I replied. “Are they from when you were walking with me through the difficult times in my life?”

“What? No, that’s where two humans were walking! They can walk on their hind legs, totally erect!  It took millions and millions of years of evolution.”

“Oh, yeah, I know about that,” I replied.

“Oh yeah I know about that,” God mocked in a high-pitched, exaggerated Australian accent. “So I guess you were here during the Big Bang when I set all this in motion? You have a full appreciation of the magnitude and scope of the way the stars conspired to form life on a Goldilocks planet along a trajectory that would one day become capable of the neurobiological gymnastics of bipedal ambulation??”

“Uh, well, I guess not, no. Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend.”

“Like to see you create fully bipedal primates out of a complete and total void, smartass.”

“Look, I said I was sorry! Hey, I have a question. I’ve been really struggling in life lately, and–”

“Calcium carbonate,” God interrupted.


“That’s what the sand’s mostly made of. Do you know what that is? The crushed up exoskeletons and endoskeletons of ancient sea life! Those two humans made those footprints on a giant graveyard of, like mollusks and crustaceans and stuff. Later they’ll build a castle out of it! How cool is that?”

“Pretty cool I guess, but–”

“See how many grains of sand there are? If you counted every one of them on this planet, there would be less of them than the number of stars that astronomers can see from here.”


“You bet your sweet fuckin’ ass whoah!” God said with his finger in my face before balling up his fist and thumping his chest. “I made all this! Me! Chet!”

“Okay, but I really need to ask you some important– Wait, your name’s Chet?”


“Okay, uh, Chet. Look, sometimes life can be really painful, and I was wondering if you had any kind of wisdom or advice or anything while I have your attention?”

“Dammit motherfucker, haven’t you been listening to anything I just said? I pointed the unfolding of the entire universe at this moment, right now, just so a bunch of primates could walk around on their hind legs on the dirt here and look around at this amazing place I made! Do you know how much work it took the stars to get you here? To create elements and planets, to create DNA, to have a few small mammals survive the snapping jaws of the dinosaurs and eventually figure out how to stand up and walk in the sand while arguing about Donald Trump? You’re riding the crest of an explosion of miracles far beyond your comprehension and you’re asking me, what? How to do it right? Just show up, dude. Just show up, stop taking all this for granted, and stop making it about yourself.”

“Oh. Ohhhh. Okay. Alright, yeah.”

“Come on, let’s take a walk.”


We walked along the beach for a while, our footprints mingling with the people who’d gone before us.

“Hey, God?”


“Will you carry me?”

“Fuck no.”









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Latest comments

  • So cool, Caitlin. It’s another version of the story of Job. God answers the same way, ‘I’m not going to answer your stupid questions because you wouldn’t understand anyway. Just pay more attention to the wonder of it all, and you’ll be healed.’

  • ‘God mocked in a high-pitched, exaggerated Australian accent’
    He normally speaks with a Midwestern American accent like all normal and real people, I suppose?
    ‘Do you know how much work it took the stars to get you here?’
    Well, actually, it isn’t any kind of work, since they are not alive and didn’t know that they were doing, so there is no reason for any humility or appreciation. Nobody ‘created’ any of that. Any appreciation should be directed towards one’s fellow-humans for what they have created (you know, culture, technology, shoulds and shouldn’ts and other evil stuff like that).
    ‘If you counted every one of them on this planet, there would be less of them than the number of stars that astronomers can see from here’
    That’s just a lot of numbers. I’ve never understood why this is supposed to be exciting. There are billions of billions of particles of dust in my home and that does not thrill me.
    ‘Those two humans made those footprints on a giant graveyard of, like mollusks and crustaceans and stuff. Later they’ll build a castle out of it! How cool is that?’
    No, that’s just creepy and sad. Poor little molluscs. I’m really sorry they died. I’d rather not think about that. I’m glad the prevalent component is silica in most places, although perhaps not in northern Australia.
    ‘You’re riding the crest of an explosion of miracles far beyond your comprehension…?’
    A miracle is something unexpected. You have no reason to expect these things not to have happened. It’s true that the world is complex, so there are many things that you can’t predict and figure out with total certainty and precision, but there is nothing unexpected about that fact either. The broad outlines of the history of the universe and life are clearly not beyond human comprehension, since they have been alluded to in the text; and it’s normal not to be familiar with every detail and technicality.
    ‘stop taking all this for granted’
    Umm, well, it *is* granted. It’s just a fact, and it has already happened.
    ‘stop making it about yourself’
    But it *is* about oneself, or ourselves. Not the lifeless and mindless stars, no matter how many of them there are.
    “Will you carry me?” | “Fuck no.”
    Certainly, one well-known kind of consolation for all suffering and death is that it could have been worse – you could have never lived or enjoyed yourself at all. It’s a rather meagre consolation, though, and any actual help in decreasing and avoiding suffering and death is bound to be far more appreciated. Providing such help is everybody’s obligation, and God would not have been exempted from it, if he existed. If he did exist, he would be a total bastard, but fortunately he doesn’t.

    • Life must be really dull when one has strangled one’s sense of wonderment.

  • Finally! A god with an Aussie accent!
    I wonder if that is the reason I get mad and constantly feel like swearing when looking at the “beach goers of the world arguing about Trump” while wanting to know why god doesn’t seem to give a shit. Maybe that is why man was created in his image or was/is it the other way around?

  • Can I sign up to be an adherent of your religion, Caitlin?

  • Thank you.

  • so insightful !!

  • It’s really disappointing that the God we believe in is so much like ourselves – an egotistical asshole. I was hoping for something better than our stupid selves.

    Maybe there is a real God somewhere out there (or in here) that would be worthy of being my teacher, or my friend? I wonder how I could find Him?Her/It? What if I just begin by just trying to imagine That……..

    • Just decide to see and let your heart decide and not the logic and training of the mind.
      When looking at a nasty God like we created ourselfs no wonder creation looks like a deadly hellhole and place of sacrifice where love is nailed to the cross and sold to the highest bidder – just like the image seen in the third human eye, the media.

  • Exactafuckinmoondoh!

  • Caitlin, marvelous adaption of an old story of wisdom.. now a new story of wisdom.. Well done!

  • Made me laugh and cry!

    The Creator helps those who help themselves.

    Be mindful of how we are part of a whole much greater than ourselves and to love and cherish our brief moments in this vast and unknowable cosmos.

    Gaze upon the immense firmament in awe and wonder and be glad to be here now.

    Whatever, I love you Caitlin!

  • I discovered you less than a year ago, Caitlin. Seldom missed any of your articles since. This one made me laugh even as it made me ponder afresh Solzhenitsyn’s prophetic warning about the West’s rejection of god:

    He spoke with great passion and anguish as always. While his personal context for this talk revolves around Christianity, I feel it applies to all religions. Indeed, to all societies that have either fallen under the sway of Western culture and thought or are reacting to them with their own variations of rejecting their chosen gods.

    Godliness or faith in god is another name for spirituality, the essence of moral values. That instinct to separate right from wrong and to strive to live up to one’s own personal standards of doing good. If not always, then at least most times.

    The things that Solzhenitsyn foresaw have come to pass. The West – and because of it the rest – have truly rejected godliness today, moving deeper by the hour into uncharted waters of lust for material wealth and power. Depending on one’s field of interest or flight of fancy, we tend to attach the ‘crisis’ label to whatever we feel passionate about. Crisis of poverty, crisis of inequality, crisis of women’s rights, energy crisis, water crisis, food crisis, population crisis, environmental crisis…one can go on.

    But if we step on to another plane of observation, all these varied crises are ultimately symptomatic of the crisis of ‘unspirituality’. Where people are being sanitized of spirituality, even religion as a pathway to god is corrupted by evil. Hence we have billions of people starving in one part of the world while in another part of the world people indulge in every excess of consumption. We have the rich and powerful countries and groups maiming and massacring other people. We have wealthy nations determined to defend what they have amassed to the extent of scorching the earth into a nuclear wasteland.

    All these are happening to loud proclamations of righteousness shorn of godliness. What the elite of the world are saying implicitly is god is dead, we are the gods. The one crisis they need to have, a crisis of conscience, is nowhere in sight. Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

    Keep writing.

    • Whoa, KV, that’s some discourse and you hit the nail on the head, of course! Well said!

    • You are blessed with vision KV Ramani and so is Caitlin

  • That’s a good ‘un

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