Sunday, June 30, 2013

Zeus's Beard

Only Marcus seemed unaffected by the roiling heat.  Everybody else, all six kids, Omega, Petey and John-John were stretching out in the shade of Olive trees and drinking water from a little spring.  They were on the edge of stone white cliffs that overlooked the beautiful sea just beyond them.  It was hot as mid-July in the American Southwest, and they needed water.

"Look!" Suzie said, pointing toward the sea.   "The deepest blue of the deepest blue.  The landscape of sea and sky."

"This must be Greece," Omega said.  "The birthplace of mathematics, philosophy, the sciences, law.  Gifted people."

"Let's get going," Omega waved the kids to their feet.  "I think we need to walk eastward, on to Athens. There's somebody there I want to meet."

The landscape changed as they walked on, going from wide open spaces and steep cliffs, to hamlets where people grew grapes for wine and olives for oil.  Then before them stood a smallish city, tiny by their standards, but graced with sculptures and temples, a place for the market.  In the middle of a market, sat a man on a three-legged stool, teaching and gesturing.  He was so lively and provocative in his thoughts and his opinions that people gathered around him, arguing and gesturing right back.

"Aristotle,"  Omega said.  "Alpha said he was right in many ways and would be proven so even into the 21st century, and really, really wrong in others.  Said he was worth meeting and talking to.  But then Alpha thinks that about everybody."

"The world is worth looking at," Aristotle shouted.  "Best pay attention.  As much as you can.  As close as you can.  Be meticulous in what you observe!"

"The difference between careful science and just fooling around is your ability to write down your  observations,"  Omega commented.

"What's meticulous?"  Larry whispered.

"Being careful to do something right.  To give it time and attention,"  John-John answered.

"Life itself is your teacher!"  Aristotle

"What about the things you can't see?"  Omega asked him.

Aristotle smiled and answered,  "Well, then you have a bit of a problem."

"There are dimensions and universes a plenty out there you can't see.  Beings and angels, maybe some ghosts, maybe some demons, some wandering souls who haven't made it home just yet.  There are kindnesses that people do that flavors the air we breathe with sweetness, wondrous music, the adventure of art and drama, true love. beauty, real live hope for our lives.  All of those are great gifts from Alpha, our creator,"  Omega explained.  "Stuff that's just hard to see."

"I love the thoughts of that.  I try to explain some of that stuff as 'forms,'  as the form of love or family.  But it just doesn't quite work or work for very long,"  Aristotle sighed.  "A grand creator?  Marvelous."

"Is there room in your form for the thought or the reality for green dragons?" Omega asked playfully.

"No," Aristotle smiled.  "I'd bet on Zeus's beard that there is no such thing.  I've yet to see one."

"There is in mine,"  Omega said.

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