Tag Archives: a fable

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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Arrivals and Departures

“The whole discussion is ridiculous!” they said, and with that they hunkered down, hard as porcelain, bolted-down and sealed.

“Honestly, we don’t agree,” said the lights.

“Really!” the toilets said stubbornly, standing their ground. “An airport is an airport is an airport. An airport is a place for traveler’s to arrive and depart. An airport is the one thing in this world that can itself never depart, and it can never arrive somewhere else.”

The carpet throughout the airport agreed — carpet tends to be very conservative — and so did all the terminal’s seating, and for that matter all the signs. There is nothing that hates change as much as a sign.

We must accept reality,” the careful coalition said. “We are what we are, and we are obviously here to stay!” They proclaimed this vehemently, and they held their ground.

But the airport restaurants, the shops, lights, all the gates and the entire terminal structure, even the tarmac, rose up and aligned against the bathrooms, seats and carpet.

“Everything changes,” they said, and everyone and everything can choose to change. It’s in our hands” they argued, “It is our turn, if we want it to be.”

“Dream away, dreamers,” claimed the coalition of caution, “but it’s physically impossible for an airport to just get up and move!”

“No, it’s not!” shouted the hopeful collaborators.

“We are San Francisco International!” the bathrooms, carpets, signs and seats shouted back in unison. “That is all we will ever be!”

“Yes, we are, shouted all the restaurants, shops, signs, gates, buildings and tarmac, “but it is time to go to Paris!”

They chanted. The airport vibrated. “What was was but now no longer is!”

And that was that, and those with a will to change prevailed, and on November 27 at 4:45 pm, San Francisco International airport flew — the whole thing. The tarmac ripped from the ground in one solid, flat piece, carrying with it all the airplanes, trucks, crews, pilots and passengers on board. The terminal followed, lifting carefully, carrying with it the passengers, the employees the carpets and bathrooms, seats and signs — all flew.

The world reaction was all over the place — fear, astonishment, disbelief, wonder and some celebration, but once in the air, there was no going back. The momentum was toward Paris.

And when San Francisco International Airport arrived in Paris as an airport, it had to pass over Charles de Gaulle Airport — there being no place big enough to land — and settle to the ground in a field outside of Paris. Not one thing or one person was harmed, but despite what the signs said along the way, or what the bathrooms said they wanted — it was not longer San Francisco International Airport.

There was quite a stir about it throughout the world, and there was no agreement on how to explain it, or to put it to proper use, but one thing was certain; despite a widespread desire to figure the whole thing out, no one could, nor did any one have any ideas at all of how to get all of it back to San Francisco in one piece.

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The Space Without a Name

“What aren’t you getting out of this?” she asked.

“I’m not getting to do what I want,” he said.

“What do you want to do?” she asked.

“Think,” he answered.

“You can,” she said, “if you want; just don’t forget that I’m here.”

“I do,” he answered, “forget that you are here when I think, because it takes all my attention, which is one reason I do it. I forget, to remember.”

“But in between the forgetting,” she said, “all I ask is that you remember me sometimes.”

“I can try to do that,” he said. “What about you? What aren’t you getting out of this?” he asked her.

“I’m losing me,” she said, “I’m not getting me or you out of this.”

“What do you want to do?” he asked.

“I want to do everything,” she said, “with you.”

“That doesn’t seem possible he said, or even healthy.”

“I know,” she said, “and so I am really wanting to do everything good and meaningful and lovely in life with you and without you, and to know when it’s best one and when best the other.”

“What is this space called?” he asked.

“What space?” she replied.

“The space where we say what we really want and need to say, honestly, so that we can figure out us, and then and why,” he said.

“It doesn’t have a name,” she said.

“Let’s name it,” he said, “so we can come here again.

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The Song of the Soil

Once upon a time there was a parcel of unhappy dirt.

“I hate myself!” It said. “I’m dirt! I live in a stupid, dead, empty lot. I grow weeds. It’s nothing!”

But one day with a clunk and a crunch the dirt was ploughed under, amended, opened back up to the sun, trellised, planted with small grape vines, fed and watered.

“I love you,” said the soaking water to the dry dirt, and ancient waters fallen from the stars soaked into the molten fires risen from the core. The soil blushed.

Then this little dirt fringe, this tattered tent of clod and dust, this corner junk yard of the earth — past home of lost leg, corroded coin, seed, shard, bone, spoon, butterfly wing, broken toy — this life-maker and death-eater, this nursery-morgue, seed bag and graveyard, this odd compounded, mingled, magic mix kissed the new grape vines planted in it. Tiny grape roots threaded the dark, welcoming soil pores below them, and small green stalks pierced the bright air above.

And all the elements of the soil danced and praised. Nitrogen shouted, phosphorus hooted, calcium clapped. Magnesium and sulphur began to waltz, and oxygen and hydrogen and all the other elemental voices of the earth sang the song of the soil.

“We love you!” sang the elements, “We love, love you, love you!”

“I love too!” sang the soil to all the budding vines. ” I love you too!”

The elements danced with the soil, the soil with the roots, the roots with the stalks, the stalks with leaves and the new leaves danced with the tiny green chalices of life ascending from the applauding soil to the singing sky above.

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