Transitional Fossil

" The question isn't "who is going to let me"; it's "who is going to stop me".
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Carrying Permission

[pic pilfered from here]

Went into the forest and met a cobra. It said that it wanted to paint my life. Its leathered skin shifted slightly in the light. I asked if it would ever bite me. It said no. I heard yes. I asked how it would paint my life. It answered that it would wind round and round and there would be slight confusion from time to time. Some unpredictable lines around and around, but nothing I could not handle. I did not want it to paint my life and said as much. But the snake would not take "no" for an answer. I took out my dagger and slowly cut out it's tongue out so it would never smell me again.

Next I met an cardinal. Feathers glowed the searing red of scalding coals. It too wanted to paint my life. I asked how it would do that. It replied that it would hold me behind it's wings. Every now and then it would paint with it's shiny yellow beak. I could paint sometimes, but only from behind the wings. And if the beak accidentally nipped me, it would be the price of art. I did not want it to paint my life and told it so. I began to walk away, but the cardinal kept putting its wings around me. I tugged on some of the featherrs. The bird yelped and backed away.

After the cardinal I met a fox. The fox wanted to paint my life. I asked if it would try and trick me. It said no. I turned my back and it turned into a swan. I asked where did the fox go and it said that a swan more suited to me. I asked how it would paint my life. It said it would watch me paint and encourage me and try to understand why I wanted others to paint my life. I asked the swan to wait for me by the edge of the forest.

I walked to the center of the forest. There I found a woman, kneeling against a stump in a veil with scarab tattooed on her throat. She was counting leaves on top of the stump. Some were green and some brown. She had sticks strewn around the leaves. I greeted her wordlessly and she nodded without turning. She told me of the tree that used to live there and about it's children. The leaves and the sticks.

"You are the tree. You are the leaves. You are the sticks.", she said. "But without water you are a seed. Where is your water??"

"I have brought no water with me nor have I been given any.", I replied.

"And why have you not dug for any??", she queried.

I was at a loss and incomplete. Why had I not dug for water?? Was I lazy?? No. I had no shovel. But I could make one or use my hands. I wouldn't know where to start looking?? What if I had dug and not found anything?? But this was a lush forest. Others had wells in the surrounding hills. Even lazy people had wells. Why did I not did for water??

The answer came to me like a fairy. Glowing and light, almost giggling in simplicity of form. Epiphany whispering on my shoulder. I thanked the woman who told me to water the seed, talk to the sapling, climb the tree, rest in the shade, and build my house nearby.

I walked to edge of the forest to paint my life, find my water and grow my tree.


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