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“Blurtso gets lost in the corn” (II)

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I think I’m walking in circles. I wonder if I’m walking in big circles or little circles? If I walk in bigger and bigger circles I should reach the edge of the field. I wonder what’s beyond the cornfield? I wonder if it’s a canefield? A canefield is taller than a cornfield. Even a giraffe wouldn’t walk into a canefield. A giraffe wouldn’t walk into a canefield or a cornfield, apparently. I should have turned back when I didn’t see the giraffes. Yes, that’s what I should have done, I should have followed the giraffes. Hey, what’s this? An opening in the corn! Oh boy! I can hardly wait to see what’s there! Hmmm, said Blurtso, would you look at that, a wide flat space. An empty space, without a single giraffe. That’s not good. I wonder what’s beyond this empty space? Probably another field. Blurtso looked at the field from which he had emerged, then he looked at the space. I guess if I walk along the edge of the corn I will get to where I went in. I wonder what time it is? The shadows of the corn are as long as my nose, so it must be before noon. Did I enter from the east or from the west? I think the east. Let’s see, if the time is before noon and my shadow is to the right, I must be walking south. Maybe the entrance is to the south. Unless I’m walking away from the entrance…

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And so he went, walking and worrying, figuring and fretting, gladdening and saddening, until he eventually reached the entrance to the corn. The entrance! he said. Or is this the exit? Just then, Blurtso heard a rustle in the corn.

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What’s that?! A giraffe! A penguin! A pterodactyl! Oh my goodness! An enormous boxing-glove nose! Hello, said Pablo, emerging from the corn. A happier donkey at the entrance of a cornfield the world has never seen. How did you find the entrance? said Blurtso. Simple, said Pablo, I followed the giraffes. Did you see any pterodactyls? said Blurtso. Of course not, said Pablo, Nebraska is only six thousand years old.

“Blurtso considers nature and nurture”

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What are you taking this semester? said Alex. I’m taking a class called, “Nature or Nurture,” said Blurtso. Of course, said Alex, the debate over the effect of heredity versus environment on personal development. Really? said Blurtso, I thought it was a spelling class.

“Blurtso speaks Greek” (II)

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Are you a student? said the professor. Yes, said Blurtso. What’s your major? I don’t have one, said Blurtso. Maybe you should take my class on Greek drama, said the professor. We’re going to stage “Oedipus Rex” in October, the quintessential story of blindness and self-discovery. Blindness and self-discovery, said Blurtso, isn’t that an oxymoron? Have you ever done any acting? said the professor. Yes, said Blurtso, I did some barnyard Shakespeare last year, but I ad libbed most of the dialogue. Well, said the professor, this will be a formal production, with a paying public, but the students in my class will be given walk-on roles. Hmm, said Blurtso, “Oedipus Rex.” Are there any elephants and ducks in the play?

“Blurtseau Lundif – Corsaire Extraordinaire” (XII)

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“Another day,” thought Blurtseau, “and another night. The king is dead, and those who killed the king are dead, and Napoleon consolidates his power while those who would kill him wait in the wings. And the once-full moon that illuminated my vainglorious victory now wanes with a warbling light. Tomorrow the fighting will begin anew, the British, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Italian, Sardinian, Greek generals… and all the world spins with the bones of the living and the bones of the dead, so many dead, those who pursued a borrowed or inherited dream, white bones in the soil, white bones in the surf of the sea, bones as white as the flickering tail of the waning moon, sparking and submerging among the breakers, flickering water reflection of fleeting sun echoed upon half-eaten moon, half-eaten moon half-eclipsed by the globe it now reflects down upon… half-eaten glow that grows dimmer each day… until the moon, the day, the night, and all our blood-urgent exploits fall dark upon the darkness of the sea, and vanish in the low laving sound of the waves eating the rocks with their dance of disintegration.

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“And when the moon goes black, the stars will mark my path to Montecristo where Echo, alone on her island, watches the same silver flicker on a different surface of the same sea. And the light that flickered in her heart? Has it fallen prey to the same dance of deterioration? Will I find the moon already extinguished in the sea of her breast? Eclipsed by the vainglorious sphere that was my haste to depart? The misguided course of this star-crossed corsaire pursuing a sinking star? Yesterday’s hero is the dark side of the earth facing the dark side of the moon, is darkness double, two-faced night’s faceless faces, an echo of existence which touches no ear, a shout across an infinite expanse, an unreciprocated smile, a source without destination, a word from the heart that never arrives.”

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“My heart is an echo of the disintegration
of the heart of the universe
that penetrates and disintegrates my own heart.”

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“Blurtso crosses the line”

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That’s far enough, said Blurtso, drawing a line on the ground with the edge of his hoof. The sand was dry and sun-baked and he had to scrape the surface several times before the mark was visible. That’s far enough, he repeated, and the others remained on their side of the line. Blurtso remained on his side as well, looking up at the others then looking down at the ground. The sun that had baked the ground was hot and began to bake Blurtso and continued to bake the ground. One by one the others walked away. Then there was only Blurtso, the sun, and the ground…

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Ooops, said Blurtso, as he let his hoof slip across the line he had drawn in the sand. Ooops, he said, as another hoof crossed, followed by his haunches, his rump, and his stumpy little tail. Ooops, he said, turning and sweeping the line with his boxing-glove nose, then stamping and stomping and tromping until there was no mark left at all. Very good, thought Blurtso, as he surveyed his work and considered his new-found freedom. Freedom? he thought, looking in the direction where the others had gone. Wait for me! he cried, scampering off to join them.

“Bonny and Pablo look at the stars” (V)

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The message is not found
in the symphony
and flicker of light,
but in the spaces between.

Not each light alone,
nor all lights together
can express
the music within.

And words speak
what words speak,
sounding the surface,
while life whirls past
in the spaces between.

“Bonny and Pablo conquer the universe”

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It occurred to me today, said Bonny, that everything in the universe can be described by a single word. What? said Pablo. Yes, said Bonny, all the diversity, all the different perspectives, all the different realities that people believe in. What word is that? said Pablo. The word “or,” said Bonny. Or? said Pablo. Yes, said Bonny. I don’t understand, said Pablo. Well, said Bonny, do you agree that existence is based on perception? Perception? said Pablo. Yes, said Bonny, that everything that exists is a relationship, that is, everything I hear, touch, taste, and smell is some kind of vibration interacting with my brain, which translates that vibration into what I know as light, color, sound, and smell. And without that relationship those vibrations would be no more than “one hand clapping”. Yes, said Pablo, I believe that’s true. So apart from my brain, said Bonny, or some type of brain, the world is devoid of light, heat, weight, motion, space, and time, because, like a current that won’t flow through a wire until the positive pole is connected with the negative, the vibrations of light and heat do not become light or heat until they have a point of arrival, until they interact with some type of organism. Yes, said Pablo. And because they interact differently with different organisms—the bumble bee’s perception of light is not the same as the donkey’s, or the human’s… the dog “hears” vibrations that donkeys and humans cannot… and though all donkeys are born with similar organs, some hear better or see better or smell better than others—the experience of “reality” is different for all living things. Yes, said Pablo, I believe that. So if someone asked you, said Bonny, to define reality, you would have to say that reality is this “or” that “or” that “or” that, depending on who is experiencing it and how they are experiencing it. Yes, said Pablo. Well, said Bonny, that is the philosophy of “or”. I like it, said Pablo, the universe reduced to a word. Too bad, said Bonny, it can’t be reduced to a letter. It can, said Pablo. It can? said Bonny. Sure, said Pablo, the Spanish word for “or” is “o”. O? said Bonny. Yes, said Pablo. That’s wonderful, said Bonny, a perfect circle, except… Except what? said Pablo. Our circle is incomplete, said Bonny. Why? said Pablo. Because, said Bonny, the universe consists of all the perceptions of all the organisms, so it is not only this “or” that, but this “and” that, “and” that “and” that “and” that. Yes, said Pablo. So a better philosophy, said Bonny, would be the philosophy of “and”. Yes, said Pablo, and “and” is still a single word. Too bad, said Bonny, it can’t be reduced to a letter. It can, said Pablo. It can? said Bonny. Sure, said Pablo, the Spanish word for “and” is “y”. Y? said Bonny. Yes, said Pablo. Well, said Bonny, “y” isn’t a perfect circle, but it looks like two rivers flowing into one… diversity flowing into unity. Yes it does, said Pablo. Of course, said Bonny, by its very nature “and” would have to include “or”… so the ultimate philosophy would have to be a combination of “and” and “or”. You’re right, said Pablo, and “y” and “o” make “yo” which is Spanish for “I”. I? said Bonny. Yes, said Pablo. That’s wonderful, said Bonny. Why? said Pablo. Because, said Bonny, it brings us back to where we started, to reality created by individual perception, except that this new “I” or “yo” is not the individual, separate “I” that we started with, but a comprehensive “I”, a “yo” composed of all the perceptions of all the organisms from all perspectives. That is wonderful, said Pablo. Yes, said Bonny, is there any more popcorn?

“Blurtso goes to Hollywood” (XXIII)

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…

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