Fool’s Odyssey 23

Fool's Odyssey

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

Chapter Six: Bread Upon the Water (Continued)

Previously: Having failed to find “the reason,” The Fool flew home to a place where everyone invents their own.

Mourning Becomes Elective

It was early morning the next day in L.A.

and I wanted nothing so much as to just go

and walk in the mountains of California.

I couldn’t bear to go home.

Oh, no, I was no waif in a storm; I had a home.

It was just that I didn’t seem to live anywhere anymore.

So I sat in that ancient airport lounge

watching the planes come in and go out

and the lights blink off and on

until dawn came hesitatingly in

and sat down on the runway.

And then, in deference to its timidity, I gather,

the night gathered up her sleeves

and went off to work in the eastern hemisphere.

It reminded me of a graffito I’d seen on a restroom wall:

“The meek shall inherit the earth

if that’s okay with the rest of you.”


It’s funny, but that’s just the way I felt, meek.

I saw for the first time in my life

that there was no reason to be otherwise.

We were all just interlopers, after all.

Then I began to see that I’d been playing the most awful game:

I’d gone to seek wisdom, understanding, truth.

But, naturally I’d brought with me a set of requirements:

“All auditionees for the role of truth

must first prove themselves

to be consistent with my philosophy.”

Who else, after all, could judge for me

what was true for me?

It seemed irrefutable, or

inevitable, at any rate.

But then I began to see the flaw in it:


I had begun by reluctantly admitting

that I didn’t know the truth—

certainly no one seeks to find a thing he already has—

but now, by insisting that whatever I accepted

must first agree with what I already believed, I was insisting

that nothing but affirmations

of my own familiar thoughts

be allowed to enter in.

What an awful game.

And everyone I knew was playing it.


I finally got up and stuffed my hands in my pockets

(I felt like the cover of an old Bob Dylan album).

I looked at the sky as I got my little car out of hock.


Truly the light is sweet, said the wise man,

and a pleasant thing it is to behold the sun. 

Yet if a man live many years and rejoice in them all,

still let him remember the days of darkness,

for they shall be many. 

And all that is to come

is vanity as well. 


Oh, hell, said the fool.

To read Fool’s Odyssey 24 click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Fool's Odyssey, For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Fool’s Odyssey 23

  1. Pingback: Fool’s Odyssey 22 | Mitch Teemley

  2. We need a higher power to unmask the lies we have told ourselves before we can know the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Chaos Realm says:

    I like this one…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Roos Ruse says:

    Dang. “…All auditionees for the role of truth must first prove themselves…” I don’t remember you in Younger Me’s head – ever. And yet empirically you’ve visited the same thoughts. Brilliantly written, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s