The Side Door…

Time for another short fable, for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

It’s been a while since i’ve done one of these. (See previous ones under Allegory.) I find that the brevity and symbolism have a unique way of getting at something i’m feeling or experiencing.

Most times when i write these, i have an interpretation in mind, although some meanings come about in the process that i didn’t consider at the outset. (This one began with the first few lines given as a writing exercise, but soon took on a life of its own. Alternate title: Beyond Doubt.)

Please do let me know ideas or meanings that come to you from this story. I also invite you to write your own continuations of the story in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading.

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The Side Door

Out for her daily walk, lovely Dubia blinked twice and looked again. Could it be?… Yes, definitely, it was Paul — walking toward her. It had been several years since their last contact. Her hands trembled as she drew her jacket tighter against the cold wind. What was he doing here?

Here on the boardwalk along the river, where she had long ago tried in vain to connect with Paul, the odorless cold now hinted at the coming snow storm.

The present light dusting had not yet made her steps uncertain, but would soon.

Away from the elements and close to her body, she carried a shivering kitten. Pausing momentarily to unbutton her jacket, she reached in and reassured the tiny creature, then bundled up tightly again to protect them both from the bluster as she strolled.   

Fishing shanties dotted one side of the wood-plank walkway. On the other was the river, lined with idle fishing boats waiting for their owners to take them to their winter storage places.

Most of the diminutive old buildings had been restored, now housing cafes and other shops. Just past midday, the clinking of cafe dishes paired pleasantly with the muffled clanking of chains that moored the few remaining vessels.

Just one shanty was shabby and still, apparently abandoned. The door facing the walkway was padlocked, but there was a side door someone had left ajar.    Continue reading

What did Chopra say?

mill pondEven though i have gradually shed my belief in a god, i remain intrigued by and sympathetic to the human impulse toward belief, particularly the longing for a personal god who sees each individual as uniquely valuable.

For this reason, i found myself in agreement with the following teaser sentence for a Deepak Chopra column about why god still matters:

“‘With the workaday world filled with suffering and frustrated ideals, there’s a huge incentive to look beyond the horizon to a God that will continue to evolve for the simple reason that humans never stop evolving,’ says Deepak Chopra.”

While some believers will take issue with an assertion of god evolving, the idea of looking to the horizon for something or someone which provides meaning beyond the mundane seems to resonate broadly. As scholar Karen Armstrong has shown (“A History of God”), conceptualizations of god evolve. As for Chopra’s column, that turned out to be the only sentence i could agree with. His seven brief paragraphs offer a breezy vacuity that nonetheless at least manages to illustrate the pitfalls he warns others of.    Continue reading