If a single blade of grass exists only as a part of the pattern called grass, and the pattern called grass exists only as a part of the pattern called the world, and the pattern called the world exists only as a part of the pattern called the universe, then everything that exists exists only as pattern, and it is impossible to speak of grass, or pumpkin pies, or “Blurtso”, without speaking of the universe.
Why do humans, said Blurtso, interfere with nature? Humans, said Pablo, are creatures of nature, and as creatures of nature they inevitably act naturally, so their conscious interference in nature must be working in the interests of nature, even if that interference turns out to be nature’s way of eliminating humans.
Hmmm, thought Blurtso, another paperclip. You go months and months without seeing one, then you see them everywhere you turn. I wonder if they’re being discarded as the world goes paperless? And soon they will only be a symbol, an icon for attachments, virtual clips attaching virtual expressions in a virtual world… like so many other forms of attachment.
This is a very nice barn, thought Blurtso. The roof doesn’t leak and there is plenty of hay. I can stand here all day if I want to. While the rest of the world runs frantically toward and away from things, I can stand here all day… I suppose we can put up with almost anything as long as we have a safe place to go.
Oh, oh, said Blurtso, do you see that? Yes, said Harlan. What are we going to do? said Blurtso. I don’t mind a single ant, said Harlan, but when you’re surrounded by hundreds or thousands, they become unpleasant. Do you think he’ll tell his friends about the loft? said Blurtso. I don’t know, said Harlan. Maybe he’s a hermit ant, said Blurtso. A hermit ant? said Harlan. Yes, said Blurtso, an ant who rejects the frenetic pace of contemporary ant traditions and ant society, and goes off on his own to contemplate nature and his relationship to the cosmos. Or maybe, said Harlan, he’s a scout ant.
My store is open! said Blurtso.
I don’t know, said Pablo, you may need more flags.
The more you look at ants, the more they look like water… flowing here, flowing there, encountering an obstruction, flowing around it, flowing over it, or carrying it with them as they flow along. And just like too much of anything, if there are too many, they carry away everything in sight, until there is nothing left for others, and nothing left for themselves.