Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Transformation -> Understanding

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Ah, the melancholy of the new year. The passing of time. Death. All captured in a lovely song that I cannot stop playing. Over and over. I even sing along.

A little parable for New Years 2007

Once there was a puppy who loved to play ball, even to the exclusion of food and sleep. No one could ever wear her out. The person throwing the ball always got tired or bored before the puppy was ready to quit. Chasing the ball made her a sleek and beautiful athlete. She would leap into the air and contort her body like an acrobat chasing the bouncing ball.

One day a hunter bought the puppy and took her to a new home. The puppy of course wanted to play ball, but the hunter wanted to train her to retrieve birds he shot out of the sky. For many weeks there was a battle of wills, the puppy trying to get the hunter to throw her ball and the hunter trying to teach her to retrieve dead birds.

The hunter had no use for a ball chasing dog. He wanted a dog that would work for him, pointing at birds hiding on the ground and diving into cold water to retrieve birds he had shot. He started beating the puppy every time she brought her ball to his feet. She soon learned that ball chasing was not an acceptable vocation.

She learned to retrieve dead birds. The hunter was very pleased with her, but she felt no joy bringing the dead birds to the hunter. She grew to be a subdued dog, always lying at the hunter’s feet. Her sleek athletic body grew round and soft and she lost her acrobat’s flexibility.

One day she was leading the hunter, following the scent of quail. When she finally found the quail, she froze and pointed, just as the hunter had taught her. Usually the hunter would approach and flush the quail, but he never came. She waited an eternity before she dropped her point and turned to see where the hunter might be. She listened. She looked. The hunter was gone.

She searched everywhere they had been that morning and returned to where the hunter had parked his truck. The truck was gone. She was very confused and afraid.

She roamed around the countryside for several days, not exactly sure where she was going or what she was looking for. She found water to drink on the ground, but she was very hungry. She came upon a farmhouse and rather sheepishly approached to see if she could find something to eat. A boy came out of the farmhouse and called to her. He scratched her ears and talked to her and took off her electric shock collar. He knew she was a lost hunting dog.

The boy’s parents said that if the hunter did not come looking for the dog, the boy could keep her. The boy bathed and fed her and the hunter never came looking for her.

A few days after arriving at her new home, the boy produced a tennis ball and waved it in front of her nose. He asked her if she knew how to play ball. He tried to excite her and make her playful. He talked to her in a silly voice. He stuck the ball in her mouth and pretended he was wrestling it away from her. He jumped around and faked throwing the ball. Finally he straddled her shoulders and embraced her head and neck, rubbed the tennis ball in her face, spoke to her in a crazy crescendo that culminated with him leaping up and throwing the ball.

As she watched the ball leave the boy’s hand, she was not sure who she was or what she wanted to do. Was she the ball chasing puppy? Was she the beaten, obedient retriever? Did she want to chase the ball or did she want to eat and lie at the boy’s feet or did she want to do something completely different? What is this new life with the boy to be?

She was paralyzed with confusion and fear.

We shall find out what happened next in 2007.

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