A prize of great value is not meant to be given away.
Dedicated to American Enterprise Institute Director Arthur Brooks, for calling for conservative-liberal dialogue to improve conservatism on behalf of the poor.
The Coal, The Flame
Lumps of rich, black coal lay in each hand.
One lump of coal was placed in a fire, and so grew red-hot, feeding the fire.
Yet no air was blown onto the coal, and the fire began to smother.
Slowly the coal darkened, until it was clothed in ash, with only a small ember of flame buried in its deepest crevice.
The other lump of coal was also placed in a fire, and also grew red-hot, feeding the fire.
Yet a gentle breath of air was blown over the coal, when needed, stoking its heat higher and higher.
From the coal's heart burst a brilliant gout of sparks and flame, igniting tinder that had tenderly been placed by its side.
Slowly the entire coal turned searing orange, the shimmering fruit of a burning bush.
Thus, tend your flame, or it shall grow cold.
March 1, 2014, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2014 (Chapter 1, "Reality's Acceptance"), by Frank H. Burton.
Self-defense is not aggression -- nor aggression self-defense.
Dedicated in admonishment of President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda's signing into law the criminalization of gay behavior; to his scientists' disregard of the scientific knowledge of epigenetics -- that complex biological traits are not purely genetic in origin, but due to fetal development influencing gene expression; to the Ugandan people's abrogation of common moral codes permitting freedom of adults' consensual behavior; and to U.S. Christian Evangelicals' encouragement of Uganda's predation on its own citizens, in the sheep's clothing of biblical puritanism.
The Insulter, The Debater
Paragons of rhetoric, they were nonpareil.
One of the brothers wielded sarcasm like a rapier.
Oft he exclaimed, "Do plan on suing your lobotomist!" or, "Are you a traitor or just a fool, to spout such hogwash?"
Although his debate coach often interjected, "You've still not made any point," or, "You've proven nothing with an insult," the brother would simmer -- steam growing behind his eyes -- until, with a burst of abandon, his black wit exploded once again into the faces of his agog listeners.
So did this brother become a master of the razor-tongue -- and a widely disliked and distrusted man -- by demolishing his adversaries.
The second of the brothers wielded reason like a forceps.
Oft he proclaimed, "Your point is unfounded, for these reasons..." or, "These facts support the need for change."
When others called his arguments "ridiculous" he smoothly replied, with a clear, slightly condescending gaze, "They are not only not ridiculous, but they are correct." The ensuing burst of impotent steam that issued from his opponents was, to him, a refreshing sauna.
So did this brother become a master of the golden-tongue -- and a widely respected and trusted man -- by arguing against arguments, not against arguers.
Thus, ad hominem is against humanity.
February 22, 2014, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2014 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton.
Your existence makes you the hero of your own story, but only your actions make you the hero of the larger one.
Dedicated in admonishment of the beatings -- with nail-studded clubs and whips -- of gay citizens in Abuja, Nigeria, in the wake of the country's criminalization of homosexuality.
The End of Days, The Beginning of Days
People believed, in this land, that Truths were whatever they wished to be true -- if wished fervently enough.
They lashed the backs of their neighbors who didn't wish fervently enough or, even more maddeningly, didn't even agree with them about what was true.
As more and more people wished more and more Truths, neighbor fought against neighbor.
Throughout this land Truths spread like a stain of multi-colored oil on clear water. And the people extended to one another their right hands -- but hatred, war and destruction lay hidden in their left hands.
So approached the End of Days.
But in those End Days, a few people stayed their falling lash.
Lifting up their neighbors, they cried, "Truth is not whatever we fervently wish -- Truth is what it is, even if we wish it otherwise."
"Are not our 'Truths' really opinions, opinions we beat into others who reasonably could believe otherwise? Is not real Truth accepting this fact?"
More and more people encouraged the search for Truth, rather than the belief in wishes.
Throughout this land Truth spread as a wellspring of cleansing water. And people extended to one another both hands -- one in salutation, the other in understanding.
So did the End of Days become, in Truth, the Beginning of Days.
Thus, Truth always offers a new beginning.
February 15, 2014, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2014 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton.
Change is the byproduct of altering one's own mind.
Dedicated to the U.S. Department of Justice's affirmation of equal federal rights for same-same and opposite-sex married couples; and in admonishment of the Nigerian government's negation of all human rights for same-sex couples and their supporters.
The Thrasher, The Swimmer
Home was on stilts on the riverbank.
The brothers, sandy feet perched against the porch screen, broke their placid gaze across the far banks on sight of an ice-cream truck tootling down to the small public beach among the distant reeds.
Using safety pins to clip dollar bills to their swim trunks, they dashed to the shoreline. The first-born waded in to swim directly to the far side of the river, but, behind him, his younger brother hesitated.
"Wait!" he cried, "what about the current?"
"Just swim hard!" the elder yelled back, then dove into the river, thrashing his arms toward the far beach.
But the younger brother saw how his sibling kept drifting downstream, and how he had to fight harder and harder to swim upstream just to keep traversing the river toward the far, sandy beachhead.
Turning, the younger brother ran fifty meters upstream.
Then he dove into the river and swam straight across, allowing the current to carry him downstream.
Splashing out of the water on the far side, he hailed the ice-cream truck driver and paid for two cones -- one for himself, and one for his waterlogged older brother, who only now was crawling on all fours, exhausted, onto the shore; and who, but for the bucktoothed stubbornness of youth, would surely have drowned.
Thus, don't swim against currents -- including currents of the mind.
February 8, 2014, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2014 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton.
There are usually two sides to an argument -- and you must consider both.
The Ant, The Cricket
In a small backyard dwelled an Ant and a Cricket.
The Ant's industry provided homes and well-stocked pantries for her large family -- while the Cricket's mellifluous song brought joy to all who heard it.
The Ant lived a long life of comfort, warmth, loved ones and many children.
The Cricket lived but a brief life. Yet in spite of his sad ending in hunger and cold, he gave to the Ant -- and to all who'd heard his song -- the memory of dulcet beauty and mystery in their lives.
Thus, industry and art both have value -- one to the body, the other to the spirit.
February 1, 2014, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2014 (Chapter 1, "Reality's Acceptance"), by Frank H. Burton.
The freedom to dominate is not a freedom.
The Wolf Pack, The Lone Wolf
They lived to roam the hills of the midnight sun.
Together the wolf pack loped across the tundra in pursuit of adventure, and of prey. Their gazes darted back and forth among themselves, their hearts and thoughts in unison, their baying a chorus.
The pack was merciless to those wolves who, from the grey blush of age or the loss of vigor, fell behind. It turned upon them and rendered them, devouring their flesh, before running onward.
But one Lone Wolf was the strongest and most fearless of them all. Farthest-seeing, tallest-eared and keenest-nosed, he raced like the blowing wind, and leapt ahead of the pack, running free into lands far beyond the horizon.
In winter's long night, he called back to his mates, in a long, solitary howl, of the visions he had seen. And yet he ran onward, far, far ahead of the pack.
So did the time come when the Lone Wolf stopped -- to wait for the pack to catch up to him, to tell them of his visions and adventures.
As he saw the pack approach in the low-hanging moonlight, over the distant hills behind him, and heard their baying, his breath quickened, and he loped toward them in joyful homecoming.
But as he approached, the pack fell on him.
And rendered him, devouring his flesh.
Then, in uncaring ignorance of the visions that lay ahead, the pride of wolves ran on.
Thus, the pack cares not whether you run behind or ahead of it -- only that you run apart.
January 25, 2014, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2014 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton.
Even those who jump to their deaths find themselves screaming on the way down.
COR's Aphorism & Parable of the Millennium are dedicated in admonishment of the Terracide now being committed by the Global Warming Denialism of the U.S. GOP representatives controlling America's CO2 emission policies and post-Kyoto environmental treaties. Gentlemen, the scientists' clock is etched in tombstone: In just 15 years, Earth is likely doomed to burn. And no level of denial, no length of apology, no begged-for suppression of the hatred in the eyes of your grandchildren, who will be History's last judges, will release your blame, and yours alone, for destroying everything.
If you judge yourself human beings, rethink your denialism, and do it now.
The Seed, The Blossom
Small and exquisite, the Japanese garden was tended daily by a master gardener.
One spring day, as the master gardener was feeding his albino carp in the pond, a street urchin spied on him from behind a boulder.
The master gardener yelled over his shoulder, "If you plan to stare at me all day, help me work!"
So did the boy become the master gardener's apprentice.
Over the next week, the boy dutifully planted all different sorts of seeds wherever the master gardener instructed him to. But he saw only the soft dark earth covering the dormant seeds, and not a single plant. Red-faced with frustration, the apprentice eventually blurted out to the master gardener, "Sensei, how can I learn gardening? All I see is dirt!"
The master gardener looked long at the boy, and then said, "Very well. I will teach you the most important lesson of all."
The gardener opened two small pouches strung from his belt, and gestured to the boy.
"Come here and open both your hands."
As the boy approached with his hands outstretched, into one palm the old gardener poured a small pile of perfect, gem-like black seeds, and into the other palm he dropped a clump of rough, dirty-brown seeds.
"Plant these seeds, over behind that boulder where you first popped up! That will be your garden!"
"In what order or arrangement should I plant them, Sensei?" the boy asked.
"How should I know? It's your garden!" And the old man returned to stroking the heads of his carp, who rose like cream from the tea-brown depths of the pond to greet him.
The boy stared down at his palms, and, seeing the lustrous beauty of the small, black, pearl-like seeds, decided to plant those in a broad circle -- to surround the ugly brown seeds.
Later that month, the rains fell, and the Japanese garden burst with life.
But as the boy raced one morning to his garden to see his circle of blossoms bloom, he skidded to a halt -- in horror.
Before him rose a monstrous, stinking thatch of rotting black petals, coated in buzzing flies.
With a cry frozen on his lips, he turned in utter dismay to the gardener, who had been sitting on the boulder, waiting for him.
The gardener took one deep look into the boy's heart, and smiled gently. Then, reaching for his walking cane, with a swift whack he lopped off the festering blossoms -- to reveal a small patch of the most beautiful blue blossoms the boy had ever seen, sitting long forgotten in the center, where he had buried and forgotten the ugly brown seeds.
"Oh, Sensei, what have I done?" the boy sighed.
"You've learned the most important lesson of all, my son," the old man said, placing a hand on his apprentice's head. "And I'm not just talking about gardening."
Thus, learn what it is that you sow -- for you shall reap it.
January 18, 2014, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton.
The faucet is not meant to turn off when the hand is placed beneath it.
Dedicated in admonishment of the Federal judicial overturning -- on a technicality -- of the entire principle of Net Neutrality.
The Drain, The Fountain
Children dove into a swimming pool.
At the shallow end of the pool they found a hole, from which gushed a fountain of fresh, clear water.
One child stuck his head into the fountain, pressed his hand on its spout to make jets of water that he could shoot at his playmate, and pressed his back to the fountain so that his body flew forward across the pool.
So it was that the fountain became his favorite place to play.
But the second child had found another hole, in the very bottom of the far, deepest end of the pool -- so deep it lay below blue-green water.
He swam in circles far above this second hole, trying to get a better look at it.
"Why is it so deep and so quiet?" he wondered.
Finally, his curiosity irresistible, the second boy took a deep breath and dove, flailing his arms, to the bottom.
And once he touched bottom, he placed his hand over the hole.
It sucked in his whole arm, to his very shoulder.
Only with the strength borne of panic was he able to pull out his arm from the drain and swim away, to barely keep his life.
So it was that the fountain, too, became his favorite place to play.
Thus, life flows between us -- and you are either a fountain, or a drain.
January 11, 2014, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 1, "Reality's Acceptance"), by Frank H. Burton.
Religiousness and Rationality aren't oil and water -- they're apples and oranges.
The Circle of Reason's 2014 Parable and Aphorism of the Year are dedicated to Pope Francis, for his recognition and defense of atheists' "conscience" and "doing good"; his call for Christians to turn away from ideology and prejudice toward open dialogue with atheists and non-Christians, to further community goodwill, tolerance, peace, charity, economic justice, and preservation of the environment; and his New Year's message that "we belong to the same human family and we share a common destiny...(which) brings a responsibility for each to work so that the world becomes a community of brothers who respect each other, accept each other in one's diversity, and takes care of one another." Peace and long life, Pope Francis.
The One Way, The Many Ways
Eating only of the fallen fruit of the trees and the milk of grazing goats, the small tribe yielded to other living creatures under all circumstances.
They dwelled in huts built only of fallen branches, twigs and leaves, and moved out if insects made their home there.
They had few children, because too many exhausted the natural fruit and milk supply, and tilling the land to grow more fruit trees, or fencing it to domesticate more goats, would evict wildlife into homelessness.
The tribe built a mud brick hospice for dying animals, so that each could die a natural death with interference from none. Some of the dying thrashed in pain, but the tribespeople felt they should do nothing to hasten their end.
Few plants and animals ever died at the hands of the small tribe. The tribespeople decided this reward was worth their sacrifice of good homes, large families, and ready food.
Across the river, a large tribe ate of the flesh of cultivated plants and animals.
Understanding that Man must consume either the leavings, or the essence, of life, they reasoned that the killing of plants or animals was necessary for their tribe to thrive, grow and explore -- because only a few could live on fallen fruit and milk.
Yet they bred the plants and animals in open ranges to grow strong and, while living, live well and in harmony with their wild neighbors.
The tribe killed only for food, not pleasure, and killed only what they bred, to not decimate wildlife and so harm other tribes or their own descendants. And they killed painlessly, with alcohol or hand-fed poppy bulbs, to prevent suffering.
They built a fired-clay brick hospital for sick animals to recover, and when animals were dying helped end their suffering.
Many plants and animals both lived with, and were later killed by, the tribe for their food. The tribespeople decided that the lives of these plants and animals were good, their ends quick, and their use for the tribe's survival justified.
One day a woman from the small tribe, rinsing her long hair in the river's delta shoals, met there a woman from the large tribe.
While the first woman bathed and the second bottled and inebriated a farmed catfish, they talked of their disparate lives.
Each woman saw the other's earnest belief, and heard the logical arguments of the other that her people's actions were right, not wrong.
Yet as the sun set beneath the distant hills, the women stared at each other, perplexed -- with halting glances at one's stuporous fish and at the other's protruding ribs -- and turned away.
Later, each woman approached the wise ones of her tribe and asked, "How could we both be right?"
The old wise ones gave them the same answer -- "Reasoning people can still disagree."
Thus, logic is the straight path -- but leads from many places.
Dec 31, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton.
Denying our weaknesses strengthens them. -- via Harvey MacKay
Dedicated in the wake of the Target Holiday Data Breach, in admonishment of U.S. banks' refusal to join the rest of the world's countries in upgrading their antiquated, non-secure magnetic strip credit and debit cards to microchip smart cards -- saving their money only to enrich criminals, impoverish retailers, and harm millions of inconvenienced U.S. credit card and victimized U.S. debit card holders.
The Monkey, The Sloth
Rainforest carpeted the far horizons.
A monkey -- chattering, jumpy and impetuous -- oft made fun of a thoughtful and deliberate sloth.
"You are such a slowpoke!" the monkey yelled. "Can you do this?" And it back-flipped on a high branch over the shadowy abyss.
The sloth slowly turned one eye to the monkey and replied, "That looks fun; but you should also keep your tail wrapped around a side branch -- just in case."
The monkey laughed and hurled a dungball.
One morning a serpent slithered high into the tree where the monkey and sloth lived.
It coiled and tensed before the silent, watchful sloth.
As the monkey, on a lone branch beneath them, chattered for the sloth to run away, the serpent struck.
But the sloth let go of the branch on which it sat and fell away from the serpent's fangs, swinging down by one furry leg, which had been grasping a side branch.
The sloth's swing carried it back up behind the serpent and, reaching up with its heavy foreclaw, it simply snipped the serpent's stretched-out body in two.
As the fanged head of the dead serpent tumbled down toward the agog monkey, it startled and leapt high into the air -- but, not having considered the lone branch upon which it'd been hopping and prattling, the monkey grasped for another branch in vain.
Together, the dead serpent and the screaming monkey plummeted into the tenebrous mist far below.
Thus, thoughtlessness widens the hole through which the sands of our days pour -- let life pass as one considered grain after another.
December 21, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 3, "Emotion's Mastery"), by Frank H. Burton.
Reform can still be incremental; and incrementalism can still be reform.
Dedicated to the patience of Newtown, on the anniversary of the massacre of its children and teachers by a mentally ill gunman.
The Open Door, The Closed Door
Ruins of a temple to gods now lost stood before the brash explorer.
Therein lay a great hall, ending in two doors.
One of the doors, small and plain, was wide open.
The other, a large and ornately gilded door, was barred shut.
The explorer bent over and glanced beyond the small, wooden-slat door and saw but an empty chamber in which lay overturned a shabby straw basket.
"Bah!" his disgust echoed, in a procession of ghostly catcalls, through the cavernous cathedral.
He turned to the ornate, barred door with his crowbar.
Levering the heavy bar upright on its stony hinge, he quickly pulled the gilded door open, and ran into a large, dark chamber.
And promptly fell into a deep pit, to his death.
Slowly, the heavy bar tipped back and gradually pushed the gilded door closed, once more.
So did the temple's greatest treasure -- a yellow diamond as large as an owl's unblinking eye -- lie undiscovered in the bottom of the small, shabby straw basket, lying beyond a plain, wide-open door.
Thus, wise direction comes not just from open doors, but closed doors.
December 14, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton.
Clouds of pollution are the incarnation of clouded minds.
Dedicated in admonition of the Chinese coal industry's choking of the cities of Beijing and Shanghai.
The Log Cabin, The Breadfruit Tree
Tropical breezes wafted the salt-encrusted beard of the castaway, who dwelled on his Lilliputian island with but one, sole companion.
A great, spreading breadfruit tree.
As the years passed, the man became restless. Idling under the shade of the vast tree and chewing on a breadfruit, he said to himself, "I am the master of this domain! I want to have a nice house to prove I am a landowner!"
These thoughts stewed in his mind, until, one day, he suddenly grabbed a sharp stone from the black sand and, raising it high above his head, split the breadfruit tree into lumber.
He built a log cabin from the tree's trunk and branches, and placed a carved tree-bark crest, with his name engraved on it, on the archway of his front door. He read his name aloud and then danced about his new house, taking care not to trip over the hoards of fallen breadfruits.
He then piled all the many fallen breadfruits into his new kitchen shelves, cupboards, tabletops and bins. And with an ache in his back, he finally sat down on his new, wooden bed with its soft mattress made of the breadfruit tree's broad leaves, and he was finally happy -- happier than he had ever been.
That is, until he finished all the breadfruit.
Thus, the world is infinite only in dreams. To live in the world, the world must live too.
December 7, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 1, "Reality's Acceptance"), by Frank H. Burton.
Acquisitiveness is an emotion, to be balanced with perspective.
Dedicated in admonishment of the forced servitude of retail employees on the Thanksgiving Day holiday, and of the Black Thursday mob riots.
The Yelling Man, The Reasoning Man
Anger was the cave dweller within the man who yelled his way through life.
He yelled at his son when the boy missed a soccer goal -- even though a small voice inside him said, "In truth, he and his team were outmatched this game."
He yelled at his field hands when the monsoon flattened their soybean crop, even though his small voice had said, "In truth, there was no way they could have saved this harvest."
As he barreled onward through his life, this angry man continued to ignore the small voice inside him.
Until one day it shut up.
For the dark remainder of his days, this man relished only in abusing all who crossed his path. But his pleasure was hollow -- because nothing ever seemed to go his way, and no man or woman called him friend.
Deliberation was the glacial spring within the man who reasoned his way through life.
He listened to truth's small voice -- and, in spite of his emotions, divulged only truth's words to his children and field hands, when they came to him in failure or fear. They were amazed that he always said the right thing, putting in perspective the hurts of the day.
As he reached outward through his life, the voice of truth grew in this reasonable man, until it spilled out of him like spring water, and nourished the same voice in all who crossed his path.
For the remainder of his days, both light and dark, this man felt the joy of clear and right actions taken, of the many things that went his way with effort and thoughtful persuasion, and of the many men and women who called him friend.
Thus, emotion unharnessed is the font of life's storms, and reason unleashed of life's balm.
November 30, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 3, "Emotion's Mastery"), by Frank H. Burton.
Silencing those who voice it cannot silence an idea.
Dedicated to JFK on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
The Forceful, The Persuasive
Rulers of men oft rise at night.
Come into power upon the hastened death of his predecessor, he quickly cast off all whose ability threatened his supremacy. He declared himself king, and when he barked his imperial orders, those who disobeyed or hesitated were exiled or executed.
One day he was to receive in his royal court the Leader of a powerful neighboring country.
"This is a Leader?" the king asked, laughing, as his courtiers briefed him about the man he would soon meet. "He did not usurp power, but asked the people for it? He can be removed from power simply by a majority vote?"
He smirked. "And he has never held an Army commission, nor ever fired a gun! Hah!"
It shall be a simple matter to dominate this man in our trade negotiations, the king thought to himself.
As the Leader of the other country entered the throne room, the king ordered him, "Kneel!"
As the Leader kneeled, the king saw his face -- a face of complete calm and equanimity.
The king became angered. "Why aren't you afraid of me, little man! I could have you executed!"
The Leader replied, "So you could, but my people wish you to have this."
He passed a scroll to the king, who handed it on to his general and demanded it be read before the royal court.
Thus did the general read aloud the Leader's letter to the king -- who heard its words with growing incredulity and horror: "O King, we, the people of your neighboring country, have massed a great army and navy in support of our Leader, whom we love. Our economy is strong, and our armed forces are unified and at the ready in his support. We wish you well, but know that our Leader is to return unharmed, or your small military takeover will see this day its last day."
The Leader then said to the suddenly perspiring king, "It is my gift of persuasion that is my power. Using it I've led my people into prosperity. My might is their gratitude." Then the Leader gestured casually around him.
"Yet, look here, at the faces of all the men around you, O King. If gratitude resided there, indeed I would be afraid. But all I see is fear and hatred of you. In my country, these men would lay down their lives for their leader -- here, they will not."
The king, in his fear and rage, exploded.
"Kill him, and may war come!"
The king's general steeled himself, strode forward, unsheathed his sword, and, sinews steady, raised it high -- and brought it down not upon the Leader's neck, but upon his own king's.
After the thump of the head, the king's bejeweled body collapsed to the ground with the sound of dry leaves and tinkling chimes.
"Our King, the fool!" muttered the general, as he sheathed his bloody sword.
He turned to face the Leader. "If your people will agree to trade with us as peaceful neighbors, I will instate free elections for our people, too."
Thus, the power of muscle is weaker than the power of reason.
November 22, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), by Frank H. Burton.
If warm, chop wood, carry water; if cold, chop water, carry wood.
Dedicated in supplication to the social and software architects of Healthcare.gov, to remember the importance of being adaptable.
The Fog, The Sun
Amid the ruins of a castle on a moor lived an old hermit and his young pupil.
One day the fog lay on the moor like a spent lover, and all was grey.
"See you the lowering fog, boy?" asked the hermit.
"Aye," replied the boy, "I can spy nary a foot beyond our keep, teacher."
Then his teacher asked, "And how is this fog like the lives of men?"
The boy pondered, then replied, "Teacher, I know many a man and woman, 'tis true, who can see no further in front o' their faces than we do now."
"Indeed!" the old man laughed. "But then, young one, what be the Sun that burns away the fog to show our far horizons?"
To this the boy only shook his head.
Gently the old hermit reached out with one long, withered finger, and tapped at the boy's forehead, and the boy felt the hermit's touch as if it were a droplet of flame.
"Here is your Sun, boy. Here is your Sun."
Thus, reason can lead to meaning and purpose -- by burning away the fog that lies ahead.
November 16, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 1, "Reality's Acceptance"), by Frank H. Burton.
Fear not remorse, for it is birthed in high expectations.
Dedicated to U.S. state-level civil rights- and economic- initiatives to decriminalize and cease imprisonment for possessing marijuana or other recreational drugs.
The Dodo, The Crow
In a verdant field surrounding a farm lived a Dodo and a Crow.
One year the farmland was sold. The Dodo and the Crow watched in silence from nearby bushes, while the old farmer glanced about at his past, stared down into his future, then slapped his straw hat against his leg like a horsewhip and walked away.
Soon came a horde of earthmovers crawling with construction workers, who ripped up the crops, trees and wild underbrush -- to build a parking lot and tract homes.
The Dodo ran about in circles. It squawked disconsolately when it saw its nest crushed by a tractor, leaving no underbrush to build anew. That night the cold winds came, and, to put the squawking Dodo out of its misery, a crew worker impulsively bashed in its head with his shovel.
The Crow, too, lost its treetop nest the very next day. As the gnarled old oak fell and was chipped into mulch by workers, the Crow circled, a cruciform spectre, in the desolate sky. But, unlike the Dodo, the Crow set out the next day to build a new nest, where he could -- in the very top of the riggings used by the construction workers. With the crops all now laid waste, the Crow consumed the bodies of the shrews and mice uprooted from their nests and crushed under foot or wheel.
So did the Dodo find a new way to die, and the Crow find a new way to live.
Thus, the erasing of one path limns another.
November 9, 2013, excerpt from The Parables of Reason © 2007-2013 (Chapter 1, "Reality's Acceptance"), by Frank H. Burton.