As Blurtso made his way across the land, he paused to consider the travelers who had made the journey before him… the young ones in search of adventure, with optimism and innocence in their eyes; the middle-aged ones, discouraged but not defeated, far from family and in search of a job; the old ones, irretrievably detached, free from the weight of hopefulness, and blown from town to town like leaves on the wind. At night, drawn by the glow of a flame, they would gather in silence, reflecting on the trials behind and considering the trials ahead, until one, reaching into his pocket, would pull out a harmonica, wipe it on his sleeve, and softly begin to play…
Like my brothers, I have found time
to escape time and its burden.
I have found pleasure in distraction,
and satisfaction in its pleasure.
The fugitive light leaves a temporary trace.
One sits, another dances,
still another builds walls of silver
which another with silver shall destroy.
I walk beside the waters,
an insignificant syllable dissolving in the sand.
And the people gathered before him and said, “Blurtso of the sacred space, teach us.” And Blurtso replied, “Teach us?” And the people echoed, “Teach us.” And Blurtso replied, “Teach what?” And the people explained, “We do not love all who are among us. We do not love all others. And we are ashamed.” And Blurtso replied, “What will thou doest when thou seest a tempest in the offing?” And the people replied, “We shall seek shelter.” And Blurtso said, “And what will thou doest when thou encounterest danger in thine path?” And the people replied, “We shall pursue a new path.” And Blurtso said, “And what will thou doest when thine well of poison smellest?” And the people replied, “Drink we shall not.” And Blurtso said, “Just as with nature thou wouldst, so with one another thou shouldst. For each one of thou, in beingst thineself, is for some other a storm, a danger, or a poison. And another for thou shallst be these same things too. So feelest not ashamedst that thou revelst not in the company of all, but rather recognizest the right to existest of the poison, the danger, and the storm, and rejoicest in the natural wisdom that wouldst lead thou unto safety and keepest thou from harm.”
Wow! thought Blurtso. Hollywood! I can hardly wait to see Mr. Ed! I wonder where he is? Let’s see… the sun is setting, so I think I’ll try Sunset Boulevard. And off he went, up and down the street, clippety cloppeting, cloppety clippeting, forth and back and back and forth, looking for Mister Ed. I’m tired, said Blurtso after several hours of searching. I think I’ll take a nap.
Hello, said a policeman. Hello, said Blurtso. May I ask what you’re doing? I’m napping on the grass, said Blurtso. It’s against the law to nap on the grass. Really? said Blurtso. Really, said the officer. O.k., said Blurtso, I’ll find another place. And off he went, up and down the street, clippety cloppeting, cloppety clippeting, forth and back and back and forth, looking for a new place to nap. Eventually he returned to where he started. Hmmm, he thought, watching the cars arrive, park, and drive away… I know what I’ll do! I’ll nap in the street! And when the next parking space opened, Blurtso grabbed it. Ahhhh, that’s just perfect, he thought, resting his street-heavy hooves.
Hello, said the policeman. Hello, said Blurtso. May I ask what you’re doing? I’m napping in my parking space, said Blurtso. Your parking space? said the officer. Yes, said Blurtso. But you haven’t put any money in the meter. Money?said Blurtso. Yes, said the officer, $5.00 per hour per vehicle. Am I a vehicle? said Blurtso. No, said the officer, I suppose not. So I can stay? said Blurtso. Yes, said the officer, I suppose so. Thank you, said Blurtso. You’re welcome, said the officer. And so it was, after four days on the train and another day in the hills of Hollywood, that Blurtso lay down in his parking space and slipped, as the sun set slowly on West Sunset Boulevard, into a deep and dreamless sleep.
Today’s question, said Blurtso, is “Where does it lead?”
Where does what lead? said Morton.
The road? said Chelsea.
The river? said Glouster.
The question? said Emma Lou.
I suppose everything leads somewhere, said Frank.
Why? said Morton.
Because things are always moving, said Frank.
I’m not always moving, said Morton, sometimes I nap in one place for hours.
Why do you nap? said Frank.
Because I’m sleepy, said Morton.
Why do you stop napping? said Frank.
Because I’m no longer sleepy, said Morton.
Then napping, said Frank, leads to not being sleepy.
I suppose time is the answer, said Emma Lou.
Time? said Chelsea.
Yes, said Emma Lou, time is what makes everything lead to something.
“Time,” said Glouster, is “the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues.”
It makes motion possible, said Emma Lou.
What does time lead to? said Morton.
Death, said Frank.
And birth, said Chelsea.
And hunger, said Morton.
Hunger, said Frank, leads to the search for food.
And the search for food, said Chelsea, leads in all directions.
Like the wind, said Frank.
The wind? said Morton.
Yes, said Frank, the wind also leads in all directions.
What leads to the wind? said Morton.
“Wind,” said Glouster, is “movement of the air at any velocity.”
We’re back to movement, said Frank, or “motion.”
What sets motion in motion? said Morton.
That’s a good question, said Glouster.
Perhaps the question does, said Emma Lou.
Does what? said Morton.
Sets it in motion, said Emma Lou.
Sets what in motion? said Morton.
Everything, said Emma Lou.