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Weirdness and Reality

One thing that never fails to surprise me is how often reality surprises me with its superb moments of humor, irony, weirdness, and beauty.  As humans, we ought to pride ourselves on our creativity.  Our media can invent worlds of insane happenings that are perfectly choreographed to deliver on these ideas of humor and irony and weirdness and most importantly beauty.  There are others, but it guess you can see where my priorities lie.  Either way, life surprises me.  It reminds me that we humans are but children at creativity, irony, and form.  No matter how cool we are, life will come up with something more perfect.

For example, humor.  A Nobel lauriette was traveling to see his grandmother.  He was going through airport security and was searched and questioned on his belongings.  When they saw the statue made of pure gold, they asked him if someone had given this to him.  He said of course someone had.  The king of Sweden gave it to him.  The TSA agents immediately shat themselves (exaggeration) as their training kicked in.  For after all, what if this man was smuggling drug money and was spoofed by someone impersonating the king of Sweden?  Mind you, they are in America.  They ask him why and he elegantly explains that he discovered that the universe's rate of expansion was accelerating; that he was a Nobel Prize winner.  They had only one more question: Why are you in Fargo?

It's so funny.  It's so beautiful.  I could NEVER have come up with something like that.  No comedy will ever trump what has happened in the countless lifetimes we as humanity have lived.  On that note, I've spoken a few times on my belief that there aught be no distinction between Fiction and Nonfiction.  This is a piece of my argument for that case.  When a comedian immortalizes that moment in a work of art, is it fiction or nonfiction?  What do we do with a nonfiction occurrence that is truly stranger than any fiction?  What do we do with a fiction like our financial system becoming more true than the nonfiction of reality?  

Dear reader, the lines of fiction and nonfiction are blurred by our every action.  When I birthed a toaster in high school physics out of plastic, metal, and silver, I turned fiction into fact.  When you hear my words transmitted to your mind from afar, you blur the line between magic and the mundane.  And when we all die (for die, we shall), what then will we learn about fiction and fact, magic and the mundane, fear and adventure-- the likes of which few can attempt to understand.



I handed off my favorite translation of the Tao Te Ching to a friend recently and one of my favorite stories lit up like a supernova in my mind.  The story goes something like this:

Once, a Chinese lord who followed the Tao was under siege by a local lord who thought him weak.  His people were in fear.  Their friends and farmers outside the keep could not approach.  Food stores were running low.  The king gathered his people together and called out to the greatest thief in the town.  Everyone in the town knew who this person was, but it took a while for her to step forward from her home in the shadows.  The lord got on his knees and asked her calmly to aid his fair city.  It may not have been kind to her, but she is the only one who can save their keep.  Obviously, this piqued the thief's curiosity and the king told her what he had to do.  

That night, the thief was sent out alone on a dangerous mission.  The following morning, one of the most agile boys in the town climbed down the side of the fort and delivered the jade hairpin of the sieging general to the standing army.  The siege continued and the thief was sent out into the night once more.  This time, the general was waiting on the front lines to retrieve his pillow from the young delivery boy.  

A curious thing then happened.  The siege stopped.  The people asked their king why this had worked.  He told them that he was demonstrating his power.  Taking his hairpin was easy, a catburglar could do that.  Taking the pillow gently enough that it could not be sensed was a step up to the level that if my people were to come to harm from his blockade, I could take his life at any moment I pleased.  He finally reminded his subjects to reflect on who had saved them from their plights and asked them to focus on aiding the worst of them that they might not have to resort to such desperate acts.

The story sticks with me to remind me that all beings have purpose.  There is no good or bad, there is simply what is.  A thief is a result, not a criminal.  A challenge is a door, and many keys exist if you are but creative enough to find them.