Some gods are young for millennia, and other gods are created already old. They don’t experience time the way mortals do. For them, it is an infinite cup, never fully drained, and the passage of days is no more consequential than the passage of seconds. Very few entities, god or mortal, count the passage of seconds. (Ore Ville, Small God of Microwave Popcorn, is among the few who must measure time so very closely.)
Great-Grandma O’Keefe has no children to speak of, has never once been a mother, but we are all her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren, from the youngest of us even to the oldest. All will pass into her keeping, given time enough to do so.
Those who die before she comes to claim them are still commemorated in her scrapbooks, preserved as they were while they lived. She is not the afterlife. She is a lavender-scented pausing place along the road to that sweet and lasting destination. But she loves them all. She does not judge. That is not the purpose of a great-grandmother.
In her softly wrinkled hands the world is born, and ages, and dies, and is born again, over and over, forever.
Some look upon her works and see wisdom, or character, or a life well-lived. All she sees for herself is time. Time spent, penny by penny, as if it matters no more than what it’s worth, when what truly matters is how little of it there is.
At the end of the day, Great-Grandma O’Keefe is there, with a plate of cookies and a handkerchief, ready to soothe the last of the world’s aches away, ready to take her gifts back from those who no longer need to carry them. It is the only gift she has to offer.
For so many, it has been enough.
[image description: A smiling old woman wearing thick black-rimmed bifocals. She wears a green beret over her short grey hair. On her viridian shawl is a blue pin in the shape of a tesseract. In the background, a beautiful galactic formation in blues, pinks and violets. Text reads, “25 Great Grandma O’Keefe – Small God of Wrinkles in Time.”]
Artist Lee Moyer (The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, Starstruck) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.
Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities: