They gave us God at infant school: some illustrated stories and a picture on the wall – that Jesus with a lantern lifted high. He’s looking for a sheep, they said, a sheep that went astray. I liked the guy - that tangled hair and beard and dressing gown.
In junior school they ramped him up a bit: a hammered piano nailing down the big, fat hymns, the manger babe, the prince of peace, and how he drowned the multitude but let old Noah go. I kept him on through two bereavements in my teens and thought I heard him
breathing deep inside some Bach chorale beyond. But life itself came tumbling in – a cavalcade of catcalls, whistles, brickbats, roses. And one day he wasn’t there at all. Instead, out on the road, across the fields, over the trees, in the sky, everything else was.