anecdote 18 – THE OLD MAN AND THE CHILD


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anecdote 18
foodforthesoul ANECDOTE
THE OLD MAN AND THE CHILD
HAND IN HAND, THE TWO GO TO THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF, VIEWING THE PANORAMA OF A FADING GOLDEN SUNSET. GRAMPS SITS ON A ROCK, TOO TIRED TO MOVE. THE CHILD PUTS AN ARM AROUND HIS GRANDPA’S SHOULDER.
GRAMPS. So what do you wanna be when you get old?
CHILD. I don’t wanna get old. I’m happy as a child.
GRAMPS. You gotta grow up sometime. You can’t be a child forever.
CHILD. Wanna bet. You are forever a child, gramps. That’s why you understand me. Dad doesn’t understand me because he is an adult.
GRAMPS. True, but I became an adult first before I became a child again. You are lucky to resist adulthood. Me, I embraced it so fast, I fell on my face.
CHILD. That was your mistake. Ha ha. You suffered as an adult.
GRAMPS. Part of surviving. There is the wisdom of childhood and the wisdom of adulthood. Being a child is the dream part. Being an adult is the nightmare part. You have to go through nightmares, no choice.
CHILD. I have a choice.
GRAMPS. No choice, kid. You gotta do it. You can’t be Peter Pan forever.
CHILD. Okay, I believe you. Let me get there then when I get there. No pushing, gramps.
GRAMPS. So you wanna be a lawyer, artist, musician, writer, what?
CHILD. Look at the sun. It’s dipping into the mountain. It’s gonna die soon.
GRAMPS. You don’t wanna answer me.
CHILD. When it’s gone, the sky begins to glow yellow, then orange, then blue, then darker blue. That is the best part, before it dies. Then when it dies, new things are born, a million stars against black. Wow.
GRAMPS. I wish I had your spirit. Look down there. As much as there is yellow above, there is darkness below.
CHILD. So you look at the darkness and I look at the light. Fair enough?
GRAMPS. Maybe I’m getting tired.
CHILD. I need to take a pee.
THE CHILD GOES TO THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF TO PEE INTO THE DARK ABYSS BELOW. BUT A STRONG GUST OF WIND SENDS HIS PEE SPRAYING INTO HIS SHIRT AND PANTS. GRAMPS GOES OFF HIS ROCKER, LAUGHING HARD.
CHILD. Feel better, gramps?
GRAMPS. Why you. You did that on purpose to make me laugh.
CHILD. You told me laughter can cure cancer. Why not your tiredness. Do you still feel tired?
GRAMPS. For heaven’s sake. Now I feel great, you crazy kid.
CHILD. (wiping the pee from his clothes with a hankie) Don’t get tired gramps. Don’t leave me. I need you to guide me through the wind. You said never never go into a tailspin. Stay with the wind, flow with it.
GRAMPS. That’s because you fight the wind, kid. Go with the wind. Flow not fight.
CHILD. You also told me about the sunset, symbol of death and birth all at once. Light and darkness, remember? I can’t forget what you have taught me. Just let me get there when I get there.
GRAMPS. So what do you wanna be when you get old?
CHILD. You are really stubborn, gramps. When I get old, I wanna be a child. You said to me before “Jesus said, ‘Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet the Father feeds them.’”
THERE IS AN EERIE SILENCE, AS THE LAST DROP OF SUN FADES, LEAVING A YELLOW-ORANGE HUE ACROSS THE HORIZON.
CHILD. And Jesus said, ‘Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way wild flowers grow.’” Matthew 6. These are words you taught me, gramps. So why should I ask myself if I should be a musician or a writer? Learn the way of the wild flowers.
GRAMPS. You’re right. It’s too early to think about it. Go and play and enjoy. Later it will dawn on you. For now, let the sunset linger.
CHILD. What will dawn on me?
GRAMPS. That life is not all flowers and sunset.
THE HORIZON TURNS BLUE.
CHILD. There it is … death. Even death is beautiful. Now I’m waiting for birth, which is even more beautiful.
DARK BLUE TURNS INTO BLACK. THE FIRST STARS APPEAR.
GRAMPS. The stars will not shine if there are clouds.
CHILD. Wrong, they shine, only you don’t see them. Look. It’s the beginning of birth. Wow. It’s so clear, white stars against total black. Wow. (screaming) Look gramps, look.
THE CHILD BEGINS TO HUM A TUNE AND TO DANCE.
GRAMPS. We’re going home in a while, otherwise, it’s too dark and I might trip. You forgot to bring the flashlight.
CHILD. Yes, gramps, let’s go home.
AS THEY HEAD HOME, A GIGANTIC YELLOW FULL MOON APPEARS ON THE NORTH.
CHILD. See I told you, gramps. There it is (pointing to the yellow moon) our flashlight. Learn the way of the wild flower.
GRAMPS. Yup. You got me again. What will I do without you?
CHILD. You mean, what will you do without Him. You know what, gramps?
GRAMPS. What?
CHILD. I think I will be a dreamer. I am too smart to be an engineer.
GRAMPS. Are you saying that just to piss me off?
CHILD. When I get old, I will be like you, a child-gramps. From being a child, I will suddenly be a child-gramps. No in-between. I will skip adulthood.
THEIR LAUGHTER PIERCES THE EVENING SILENCE. FOR A MOMENT, THEY BECOME BLACK SILHOETTES AGAINST THE GIGANTIC YELLOW MOON. THEN THEY FADE AWAY, LIKE WILD FLOWERS BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN NOW AND FOREVER.
eastwind
do not worry and say
what are we to eat?
what are we to drink?
oh you of little faith
seek first the kingdom of God
and His righteousness
and all these things
shall be given to you
do not worry about tomorrow
tomorrow will take care of itself
a day is its own evil
matthew 6:24-34
a lesson in the power
and simplicity of faith
PERMIT ME TO INCLUDE A FRIEND’S POEM
Thanks, Bernie! I know this so well in my heart! I hope you do too. If not…it’s never too late to have a childhood. This reminds me of some poems I wrote: ISABUHAY
Childhood
Childhood is not of the body in any sense,
milk teeth or baby fat, nothing about that.
It is all about innocence, purity and inner silence…
Childhood is of the heart.
It is about the openness of wonder,
insatiable discovery, thirst.
Never would I reach a second childhood
for I refuse to breach my first.
We have a pact, among eternal children
in Peter Pan’s pack, never to become
an adult, or suffer in misery
for the sin of ADULTery.
Adult?
If adult is a word, that means
worrying, getting bored, arrogant,
petulant, ignoring, taking for granted,
bigoted, harboring ill will, hostile,
manipulating, discriminating,
hurting self for pleasure, destroying nature,
exploiting others, going to war,
killing brothers…
then adult really means,
a dolt.
___________________________
PLEASE PASS TO FRIENDS
*************
APPENDIX
*************
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http://www.sisterraquel.com/2009/03/ebook02-filipino-version-doktor-hesus-nazareno-mga-kuwento-ni-sr-raquel/
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inquirieseastwind@motherignaciahealingministry.com
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amdg

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