Photo by Second Crop Creative
When I was a young man, I began searching for the meaning of life. Along the way, I wrote a travel journal, a mix of prose and poetry, and labelled it Fool’s Odyssey.
My life of gleeful consumption ended before it began. For six days I’d moved to the rhythms of London, living out my newfound ism. And for six days it had worked–in my head. But then it didn’t. Because then I remembered I was here for something more, something… But, no, I wasn’t ready for that. Not yet!
So I woke up in my creaky little hotel room at three in the morning. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick… And then I heard a voice, one I’d heard before: “Come unto me,” No! There it was again, calling me to go and look over the edge.
“Why?” I shouted. “What’s the point? Let me have my drug and leave me alone!”
But my drug wasn’t fun anymore. My drug was a drag–past tense. So I just there sat, listening to the moonlight, and then I wrote:
Trinkets, trinkets in the stream
of consciousness of those who dream.
Have our hearts been bought and sold
while yet were forming in the mold?
Rise and shut your window then,
grab your life and start again.
Leave your posturepedic mat,
your vegomatic Tudor flat.
Discard that polyglot of charms,
and take your babies in your arms.
Then run into the streets and shout
‘til everyone at last comes out.
Toss your telly in the tree,
deny your car and follow me!
Forever passed (forever passes many times at night). And then, just as I was about to hear the answer to every question ever asked,
I fell asleep.
“Ah,” said the Wise Man, “the sleep of the labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much. But the abundance of the rich will not suffer them to sleep. For there is a sore evil I have seen under the sun, namely riches kept by the owners thereof to their own hurt. As they came forth naked from their mother’s womb, so shall they return—with nothing in their hands. For all is vanity and chasing after wind.”*
But then, the next morning, I saw the ad for the economy class to Paris, and I thought of red wine. And of oil paint. And of women with rounded bosoms and perfect legs. “Yes, this! Or maybe not. But this!”
Said the Fool.
*Ecclesiastes 5:12-15 (Paraphrased)
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