"Stand Up, Its all right, I feel it!" - Nuyorican Soul
its been a long time, I shouldn't have left you: 3 days without a post? Yeah, I'm still alive...there's just been nothing going on that's got my ire up or that's struck me as especially funny in the past 72 hours. I went home from work early on Tuesday because my back was killing me. I'm supposed to be switching offices this week but they won't give me an exact time so I sit here anxiously staring out into the hallway hoping that Bart will come with the PA's and some boxes and tell me its time to go...yeah, still no. I have some stuff rumbling in my head regarding politics and the goings on amongst black folks and the oscars this week...but I think I'm going to let those marinate for a while. I'm not in the mood to pontificate today. Rather, I give you this little allegory that popped in my head this morning:
The Bear and The Turtle
On a blustery morning, the turtle decided that it was time for an adventure. She wanted to know what was in the forest that began at the edge of her pond. She had never left the pond before and didn't know much about survival but that big forest was there and it just begged to be conquered. So she collected her things, put them in her shell and left cool water. Slowly but surely she made her way up through the mud and to the dirt trail that parted the trees.
When she got to the trail, she found herself face to face with a bear sitting and playing with a stick. Not knowing much about the world, the turtle had no idea that she should be afraid of such a vicious creature and went up and introduced herself. Now, truth be told, this wasn't a very vicious bear at all. In fact, he wasn't much bigger than a cub and wasn't into very bear-like things. He didn't hunt, he didn't snore loudly when he hibernated, he didn't even like scaring other animals. That's probably why he sat alone at the edge of the forest. Its pretty hard to have bear friends when you don't want to do bear things.
The bear examined this little turtle who had taken the time to meet him and admired her hard shell. They talked for awhile and realized they had much in common despite being completely different animals. The turtle explained about her adventure and the bear listened with great interest. He wasn't much for adventures but he liked talking with the turtle and could see that she was going to need help. She couldn't just go around talking to every bear she saw, he figured, it was lucky that she had just happened to run into him. Luck or fate, it didn't much matter to him.
The bear asked if he might join the turtle on her journey. The turtle was shocked to find herself so excited by the offer. She hadn't realized until the bear had said those words how much she wanted, maybe even needed, a companion on this trip. She quickly accepted him as her travel partner. The bear slowly got up and dusted himself off. He saw that the turtle's shell was dusty as well and wiped her clean. They smiled at each other for a moment and then walked side by side into the forest.
The trek was slow since turtles don't move very fast but the bear didn't mind. He didn't have any place to get to in a hurry anyway and the conversations they were having were wonderful. They found they liked the same butterflies. They both couldn't stand ladybugs. She was allergic to ants, he was addicted to honey. They walked and talked and marveled at the same things in the forest. They were the best of friends and while neither would say, they certainly loved each other. They were like a match made in heaven.
The forest was much larger than they expected. Often they came to points where they would have to choose a direction. Left or right? Over or under? The bear never wanted to make those decisions. This was the turtle's adventure after all. She should be the one deciding where they went. So she did. They went left when she felt the need. They went under when she was too tired to go over. The turtle liked guiding their journey. Except for when she didn't. The bear didn't mind always following her lead. Except for when he did.
The bear had been right about the turtle needing his help. She was small and slow and often found herself in trouble. He was always there to pull her out of the sink holes and to chase away the bees and to carry her away from the scary eyes that peered at them at night. He grabbed the apples and berries that were too high for her to get. He found the cool watering holes for her to drink and relax. The turtle was very grateful for all his help. Even though sometimes he helped when she didn't need it. The bear was happy to do for the turtle. Even though sometimes he really wanted her to maybe do things for him.
As time passed, the turtle and the bear continued to walk together but they didn't talk as much. The bear looked to his left and watched the butterflies flutter and dance but he didn't tell the turtle about the amazing sight. The turtle looked to her right and saw a pocket of honey pouring from a fallen bee's nest but didn't tell the bear it was there. Once, the turtle fell into a sinkhole and the bear didn't notice. He kept walking along. Eventually he realized the turtle wasn't beside him and rushed back quickly to save her. It was a close call. The bear was happy that he was there to save the turtle again. The turtle was thankful the bear still cared. But they both knew things were different.
The turtle and the bear came upon a sign in the forest. "MIDDLE OF THE ROAD" it read. The trail parted sharply here.
"I want to go left," the bear said.
"I think I'm going right," the turtle replied.
They looked at each other for a moment and considered what this meant.
"You can't make it on your own," the bear said.
"I can," the turtle replied. "You won't finish the journey."
"I will," the bear replied.
They looked away from each other for a moment and considered what this meant.
"We won't see each other again," the turtle said.
"We might yet," the bear replied. "Separate trails often cross again further down the road."
"They do?" she asked.
"They might," he answered.
They looked at each other again for awhile and then turned and walked away from each other.
Both hoping that their paths crossed again sooner rather than later.