Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, January 13, 2005

A Parable

Once upon a time there stood at the entrance of a cave or perhaps on a great plain a collection of ancient people. Their bellies full from a good day’s gathering or hunt they contemplated the setting sun in an uncharacteristic moment of peace and reflection. The leader of this clan, being the one who names things, was the first to wonder out loud what the others could not express, “Where does the sun go?”

At this the leader turned to the one at his side whom he recognized as having good memory of the places of water and plentiful game. He saw in this man’s face that an answer may be forthcoming, and so his face did in turn beseech the man for such an answer.

The man had come to notice that the chief would bestow upon him certain favors in response for his good answers and thus spoke boldly words that any might have, “The sun goes to a distant hunting ground.”

The chief grunted thoughtfully.

It came to pass that the chief’s brother succumbed to illness. This troubled the chief greatly. Touching his brother’s hand caused him to recoil in shock that it was so cold and still. After much staring at the fire he asked “Is my brother like the campfires of past suns?” Inevitably he asked himself, “Is this to be my fate?”

He Who Answers had contemplated this silent question many times and was aware that the chief was beginning to struggle with it. Yet for this event that would turn the chief’s brother to stone in the same way as with so many others he had found no explanation.

He had been fond of a mate from several years back. Though she had gone cold he could still hear her voice or see her in his sleep, and he would wonder where she was speaking from. As he thought on this night about the fire, his mate and the chief’s brother he found himself staring at the twilight. An idea began to form in his head and after a moment he found himself saying, “She has ridden with the sun to the other hunting ground.”

He turned to the chief and spoke more loudly, “He has ridden with the sun to the other hunting ground.” To this the chief stood and contemplated the horizon for some time. At last he let out a sigh and said, “I, too, will ride the sun one day to visit with my brother.”

The chief, He Who Answers, and many people came to comfort greatly in the realization that going cold would not be so different, and so it was with renewed hope and energies that they would set about their lives.

Others would wonder about the truth of this notion. On the dark days they would see the followers of He Who Answers wail for the return of the sun when it seemed quite obvious that the only thing between them and the sun was the rain that hasn’t fallen.

They would also notice that those who implored the sun for favor came to consider unworthy those who would merely wait for it.

Thus came to be the priest, the believing and the natural, and were they ever after wary.


At 11:47 AM, Blogger JD said...

I often wish that I was born 50,000 years ago when natural phenomena wasn't so dutifully explored and calculated. It would have been fun to sit on that field and think about where the sun went.

Perhaps I was born well after my time....

Nice parable though. Scathing, as always.


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