Framed

Once upon a time, in a very near land, a group of framers came into bitter conflict with a group of anti-framers.

The framers insisted that everything be framed. They like a sense of line, of border, of box, of defined space, of in and out, of this side and that, of boundary and partition.

Their hero was the man in the frame, splendid in his uniform. His shoulders were squared, his beard trimmed, his eyes fixed and unblinking, his medal in perfect position on his chest, his decorative frame ornate, the glass that covered him clean and bright.

The anti-framers didn’t. They didn’t like a man enclosed, a line that separates, a sense of edge, a covering of glass. They didn’t much care for a one-thing-in and a one-thing-out, a sense of separation in the world. They liked a migration here, a movement over there, an uncaged land, a blurred edge, an open space.

Their hero was a woman in a field, her dress askew, her eyes half-closed, her mouth smiling, her body in motion, jumping over a fence, her arms spread wide like wings, her hair out-flowing in the wind.

And so the groups drew up battle lines, and took their stands, the “This-is-the-way-it-is!” and the “What, are you kidding me?” kind of thing. “We like a frame!” proclaimed one side emphatically, “We hate a frame!” wrote back the other defiantly.

And then one day it happened, what no one at all thought was possible. The man in the frame jumped out, and ran hard for the edge, and crossing it ripped off his medal, and flung it in the grass and tearing off his uniform ran like crazy across an open space and disappeared into a hazy horizon. Boom, he was gone, and everyone was stunned.

The Framers were aghast! They vilified him greatly, and took his empty frame down off their wall.

The Anti-framers were cool about it all and gathered in huddles and said it was no big deal, that it was no one’s business what the man in the frame did or didn’t do, and that he could have his medal back if he wanted, or not, as the case might be.

And then, it happened again, or something nearly like it.

The woman who was jumping over the fence, landed on the other side, looked back, and standing very still seemed deep in thought. Then she pulled herself together and stepping resolutely back across the fence, she walked slowly straight into a frame. She stopped there, in the center of the square, and buttoning the top button on her dress, and pulling her hair back, her wry smile transformed into a look of sudden relief.

The Framers cheered, and gathered around her frame to show support.

The Anti-Framers?

They couldn’t believe their eyes, and proceeded to vilify her greatly for her betrayal, and they attacked her with new rigor, railing at her chosen lines, her new found border and her protective glass.

These two events had a profound effect upon the land. The Framers went to work and drew up tomes of law and rule, they codified and rigidified and recruited too.

The Anti-Framers did the exactly the same, and grew increasingly adroit at systematically and methodically deframing the land.

And so it went until the world was completely divided into the framed and unframed, and the sides filled up, and the battle lines were drawn, and then the thing that hadn’t happened yet — it happened.

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