The Explanation

“How long did you live?”

“I died when I was eighty-seven. You?”

“Sixty-five. Heart attack.”

“Lucky, huh?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“So, the other day, you heard the explanation, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Made sense.”

There was a long pause.

“Not really.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean. Its interesting, when we were alive, people would say stuff like, ‘Well, someday we’ll understand.'”

“I suppose there is something to that. I now get it that much of what mattered so much didn’t and what didn’t, it did.”

“That’s for sure, but the explanation of war, disease and natural disaster, did you follow that?”

“What, did he cover that?”

“You weren’t paying attention?”

“Were you?”

“I was, but, well, to be quite honest, I still don’t get it.”

“Why do you think that is?”

“Well, this might be heaven, but I’m still not God?”

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The Gift

Once a great wizard had a son, who grew up with every benefit, and yet was ungrateful and unhappy.

Willing the son’s good, the wizard removed him from his grand estate, and set him on a lonely road in a foreign land. But as things went, the son wandered off the road, got lost in the dark and fell in a pit some hunters had dug for beasts.

He suffered there. He grew hungry, afraid, hopeless. Just when all seemed lost, the great wizard came to his rescue and lifted his son to safety.

Seeing his son’s miserable condition, the wizard magically healed his injuries, gave him food, dressed him in fine new clothes, and loaded his bags with gold.

Thus equipped, the son again set on his way, and coming to the next city, using the gold he had been given, invested in land, married well, prospered and forgot his near-death encounter.

He became a great man in the community. And yet, and yet, over time, as before, he again became unhappy.

All he could think of was his work, his possessions and his fear of losing all he had gained.

Then one day, the wizard came again to his son, in disguise, and finding him on his estate asked, “How is it that you have come by such a vast and beautiful home, and such a wonderful family?”

And then the son answered, “I worked hard, and invested wisely.”

The wizard sighed, the looking keenly on his son, he noted his continuing deep unhappiness, and again having great compassion on the him, the wizard stuck the estate with a spell and it disappeared in an instant.

The son was again on a remote road, again he was poor, and alone, and again he wandered from the path and again he fell into a covered pit and again the wizard came to him, again as his father, and lifted him out.

But this time, willing his son’s happiness more than anything, the wizard did not give him clothes, or food or gold. Instead the wizard, out of great love for his son, gave him the gift of a powerful memory.

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Filed under Spirituality, Uncategorized

The Insult

“You tormented raccoon!” she said, floating off the kitchen floor.

“You rabid cockroach,” he responded, floating like a helium ballon to the ceiling light. He hung there in midair.

“Demonic feline,” she said rising and circling him.

“Diseased bat,” he called coming face-to-face to her by means of a soft arm flap.

Hovering together in the kitchen, they took hands and free fell giggling, in formation, to the floor. They bounced softly off the tile, and then tilting, they helicoptered into the front room.

They separated. She wafted over the table lamp and tossed off, “You psychopathic possum!”

From near the ceiling he chortled back, “Demented camel!”

She rose in the air to meet him, and eye-to-eye,  in the cathedral vault they tickled each other, laughed hilariously, took each others hands again and tumbled softly from this great height onto the couch. Leaning back on the cushions, they moved closer together and watched some TV — with caramel popcorn, dark chocolate, lime bars, chai tea, warm blankets and fluffy cats on their laps and all around.

She reached over and ate some of the popcorn out of his bowl.

“Beastly beast!” he muttered.

“You wingless termite,” she reparteed.

“Thou field,” he turned to her, “thou stone, thou clod, thou summer dust thou!”

They both laughed. She touched his cheek, and then pulling up the blanket that covered their legs they settled in for the next show.

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The Refinery

A man walked into an office, and looking at the woman behind the desk he asked, “What’s going on here? Are you guys open for business or what?”

“Yeah, we’re open,” she said.

“I saw your sign,” he said. “Are you a new business? The Refinery — what’s that? What do you guys do?”

“We refine,” the woman replied.

“Really,” he said, “Is that new?”

“No, it’s what we have always done,” she said, “We just have a new name to help people understand it.”

“Okay?” he said.

“We’re a church,” she added.

“Oh,” he said.

Then he turned and walked out with a wave — that dismissive, cool, shrug and gesture universally popular among people who have it all together.

“Wow,” the woman turned and said to her colleague in the adjacent office, “He left so quickly that I’m not sure if he was interested in our matte finish, or our high gloss.”

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1 and 0

It was 1.

She just knew it! It  was different than what she grew up with, but It felt right to her. As she thought more about it, she felt that she had always leaned this direction anyway. She heard a TED’s talk on 1.

1 was in the news. The last three books she had read were either for 1 or acknowledged 1. The last four friends she had met for coffee had all favored 1.

1 was interesting. 1 was inspiring. 1 was trending,

So she sat and reflected on 1. 1 solved a lot of philosophical issues. It gave her a solid mental stance. Being for 1 made her feel like she belonged, was protected, had hope. She embraced 1, she promoted 1, she fought for 1.

That lasted for about six months. Then in a conversation with a fellow worker, she was introduced to 0.

“Wow, 0! Who would have thought?” 1 was so different from 0.

0 was the other side of the river, the contrasting position, the alternative viewpoint. At first 0 rattled her, then it intrigued her, then she went for it. 1 was old school. 1 was extreme. 1 was inadequate to explain things. She heard a talk on 0. She picked up a book on it. She brought 0 up with her friends and found that they also were intrigued with it. 0 was radical. 0 was inspiring. 0 just made sense. She joined an 0 group, she gave to the cause, she lobbied for 0’s inclusion.

Then the leaders of 0 went off the deep end and began to require 0, to demand 0, to fight for 0 and to kill for 0. This shook her. This rattled her mental cage. This was too much, and she began to become disillusioned with 0. 0 had become too narrow, to authoritarian, to extreme.

She didn’t know what to believe. She was distraught. She felt like giving up. She was lost. She remained that way a good while, until one day, early in the morning, as she drank her coffee and sat quietly reflecting on her experiences, her reading, her mentors, her friends and her beliefs, she calmed and realized what it was.

It was 1 and 0. It was both, twinned, paired, teamed. You needed 1 to balance 0, and you needed 0 to balance 1. In some situations  you went with 1, in others with 0. If you made it all 1, you lost your way; if you made it all 0 you also lost your way. 0 and 1 could be combined, in an infinite number of ways, and processed in an infinite manner and they could carry all knowledge and truth as long as you had both.

It was 1, and it was 0 and within the mix of both lay what she had always wanted — wisdom.

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Filed under Mindsets

Don’t Do That

It always came down to shnick and shnack — table throwing, ear slashing, glass breaking, hitting the host, cussing a family member, jumping out of the window, crashing the car — dysfuntio-fabulations of a sordid kind.

Always.

“What do you think?” she said tiredly, looking up at the doctor.

“Alcoholism,” he replied.

“He just likes to drink,” she said.

“Really?” he mused.

“He is a genius,” she said. “He has done what no one else has done. I want him to be able to do more of that. Throw more paint.”

“Here is the deal,” he replied, “and you are not going to like it. He is sick, and you, you are sicker than he is.”

She schnacked. “Your fired,” she said.

He schnicked.

“Bring him in again.”

It didn’t end there. It never does.

What?

He was suffering from pycho-socio-sicko-chthonico. He had a case of the egotisticomatrio-cyclical-patrio-addictio-protopathia.

What?

It was some kind of variation of  abyssopelagic-anhedonic self-disgustico.

Are you sure?

Yes, I’m sure, and it was compounded by heredio-familio-rejecto-emphatica tinged with non-confessional, decompressional nilio-justiofaticom.

Do you mean he was dysfunctional and depressed and he was to proud and insecure to admit that?

Yes, he was.

What kind of fable is this, and who talks like that? And how is it that I am even allowed to interrupt, and contribute and why do we get this summing up and moralizing in the middle when that should be presented in the action and then given up in one line at the end?

It’s a modern kind of fable, a kind of fabulo-emperico dialogue. And by the way, the reader can interrupt the story. They always do, and they always add to it.

Will you just finish?

No, it’s not completely fabulized yet.

Really?

Really! There is more action and then the moral. A fable always has a moral at the end.

Okay, what’s the moral of the story?

I’ll get to that. But first, more action. It scrambled up all fumble-di-medicalio. Got it? It morphed drastofastically into artistico-competico-doministico bombasticus.

Okay? That’s action?

Yes, and then came the climax: a tragico-auto-fininico!

Finally!

He was coming home one night, drunk, crazy, girls in the car and he went off the road. The car flew into the air and his girl friend came flying out of the window, and the huge, shiny,  powerful, bling-ridden, paint-covered sheet metal flipped several times through the air — like thrown paint — and came to rest upside down in the woods.

He was dead.

Is that really how it ended? That is so sad.

Yes, those are the facts, post-conclusio, moral-emphatica. Now get out of here, and don’t ever do that to yourself.

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Filed under Psychopathic

Through the Roof

It was surprising how quickly they were on the roof.

It seems like one moment they were at the curb, then in the yard, then on the roof.

And why? She knew immediately. They were coming for her. She could hear them ripping the concrete roof tiles up, pounding with their hammers, tearing at the wood.

And she knew what would come next. She had played it out in her mind, every last, horrific, terrible detail. They would fall crashing through the ceiling, fall heavily upon her with all their weight, screaming, pounding her with their hammers, pounding nails into the center of her forehead. And she would run, under the bed, with the nails sticking out of her head, and they would drag her back out, and it would end that way, them over her, blood everywhere.

Bang, bang, bang, went the hammers. She jumped off the couch to the floor and threw up on the carpet.

Then the door opened, and her master entered, and said gently, “Oh, poor thing, it will be alright.  They would never hurt a little, soft, furry thing like you. They are just fixing the roof.”

And she relaxed — until they came again the next day with their hammers.

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Filed under Fear