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tortoise hare fable

January 17, 2018

It seems to me lately: My experiences become useful to me only once they become fables. My history can’t help me unless I can find in it a pattern (however apophenic it need be) that I can then convert to mantra, moral, metaphor, answer, lesson, creed. I need to find my way, in short, from the specific to the general: I touched a candle flame just once, and instantly I knew what any Fire could do. If only every event revealed its truth so fast and plainly.

I continue along this path of trying to learn what path’s most useful–by which I mean, “what leads toward grace”–by eliminating, one by one, every dreary dead end. I won’t list them here, each uselessness that blocks each way, but will bundle them all into a crate called “desire” and hurl the crate into the sea, where to my consternation it will continue to bounce and bob in the rough water. (Obviously, I should have weighted it down better.) Now that box of longings will follow my ship as if tethered to it, no matter how fiercely I gnaw at the rope. But this way I know where it is, at least, and can keep a careful eye on it.

Something I scribbled on a post-it note some days ago: “Everything that happens to us is serendipitous. It just takes practice, and maybe a bit of confabulation, to discover and harness it.” So there’s that.

From another day, another scribble: “You know you’re high when you try to light your pipe with a nail clipper…and it works.”