Fool’s Odyssey 2

Fool's Odyssey

To read Fool’s Odyssey from the beginning, click here.

Prologos: Ash Wednesday (continued)

Now, don’t get me wrong.

It’s not that I was “looking for God” or anything.

I mean I was the kid who wrote,

“Man makes God in his own image” in his psychology journal

and got an A from a professor who was fired for chewing betel nuts.


But it was Ash Wednesday when they called and said,

“Your father’s dead.”

And then there was this girl

(there’s always “this girl”).

You know, “the one”?

The one you were going to spend “the rest of your life with”

until she went off to spend the rest of your life

with someone else.

So it wasn’t that I was “looking for God” or anything,

just someone who wouldn’t leave.


But it was Ash Wednesday and you can understand

why it came as much a surprise to me as anyone

when my optimism developed a stigmatism.

I mean, it was like all of a sudden

I looked around and realized

everything wasn’t getting better.

And for the first time in my life

I wasn’t sure what the world should do.

I mean, not only didn’t we have the answer,

we didn’t even know what the question was.


all is vanity and chasing after wind,” said the wise man. 


Well this is hell, said the fool.


I heard somebody once said

that everyone’s heart is a vacuum.

Well, mine must have had a busted dust filter

because it felt like it was sucking up all the dirt in the world.


So for a while I got into being a pessimist

and I was really good at it.

I wrote weird paeans to pessimism like this one:


Nothing is the total that

I’ve come to know of late.

My heart it lies awanting in

A rotting apple crate.


Outside of pets and debtors there

Is ne’er a one can say

That he will be my champion

When comes that final day.


So get yourself a garden, friend,

And teach it how to grow,

And if you’re very lucky then

It will’na turn and go.


I never knew what it meant.


And then for a while I got into being a “seeker of truth,”

and one of my favorite things

was what some yogi guy said,

that we must “always be content to be seekers,

and never be so audacious as to presume

we have actually found the truth.”


It sounded so deep.


But then I got to thinking,

“What if the truth actually did come up to me

and tap me on the shoulder and say,

‘Well, here I am’”?

I’d probably just have said,

“Shh, go away, can’t you see I’m busy seeking you?”


And I saw that the wise man’s eyes are in his head;

but the fool walks in darkness. 

Yet the same thing happens to each in the end.

So how was I more wise? 

And I said in my heart that even wisdom is vanity. 


Oh, Hell.


But I had to look at least,

to see if I could see what I could see.

And so I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom

concerning all that is done under heaven.

In short:


I climbed a tree

so I could see

if I was free.


And so it began.

To read Fool’s Odyssey 3, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, Fool's Odyssey, Memoir, Poetry, Religion/Faith, Story Power and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Fool’s Odyssey 2

  1. “The good thing about realizing you don’t have all the answers is you start asking the right questions.” (paraphrased quote from Thor)
    That’s just what you said in your post made me think of. 😉
    And I know the story of looking for someone who won’t leave. I mean, I have Jesus (if I didn’t, I would have seriously committed suicide years ago), but I also seek human connection. I have been in multiple friendships who every single one of betrayed and left me. It definitely feels like I have a busted dust filter. A funny but very true way to put it! Very much resonated with me, well said!!

    Side note: Are you planning on writing a sequel to The Wishing Map? I’d love a “Return of the Jedi [Zack and Gina]”! 😜
    ~ Kat

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nancy Ruegg says:

    So many delightful surprises in the words you chose, Mitch, like: “She went off to spend the rest of YOUR life with someone else,” and “My optimism developed a stigmatism.” Yet with the delight you present challenge: 1) Everything is not getting better. So now what? 2) All is vanity and chasing after the wind. What’s the point? You’ve made us think, AND look forward to what you see from that tree!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. oneta hayes says:

    “heart in an old apple crate” – very picturesque. Other nice images too, like the vacuum with the broken dust filter. Much truth and much vanity, Solomon style.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The very best thing about that sense of humor God has blessed you with is how you are able to talk about you, make me laugh at me, and not leave me insulted. I’m very much enjoying these posts…now, back to deep diving at the deep end…;-}

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Mitch, I know all about rotting apple crates. Spent a lot of time there.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Fool’s Odyssey 1 | Mitch Teemley

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