July 09, 2003

Thoughtless Relativity

I suppose, somewhere, somehow, there is rhyme and reason to the chaos that surrounds us. After all, chaos is only undefined as long as there are too many variables to accurately predict the outcome. Once the variables are defined, it is no longer chaos. Instead, it is merely complexity. For example, I logged on today to find a box for adding titles. The chaotic aspect is that I had no intention of logging on today, because it feels like I have nothing interesting to say. When I grew bored of cruising the chaos of cyberspace, I dropped in here anyway. Clear chaos. Was the title bar there earlier and I just didn't see it, or is it in truth, something new?

Oh well, as long as I'm here I suppose I should post something wise, witty, or poetic, but alas, as noted above, I have nothing to say today. Nothing important anyway. How about a story? Shall I tell you a story?

Once upon a time there was a wise old Brahmin living somewhere in the Ganghes River Valley. This old man owned nothing except for one priceless porcelein vase given to him by a long-forgotten king in exchange for a year spent advising him on ways to spread happiness through his kingdom. Despite being a Brahmin and basically unattached to material things, the old man was quite fond of the memories the vase brought to mind and he carried it with him for many, many years. As always, eventually the king died and was replaced by someone less wise, less kind, and far more ruthless. Thus the old Brahmin had come to live in a tiny one-room shack just above the flood plain.

In the village near where the old Brahmin lived there was a certain thief who heard about the vase. The thief was not particularly smart, nor especially well-tutored in the ways of the world, but he was a pretty good thief nonetheless and had never been caught in the course of pursuing his trade. When he heard about the priceless vase and the old Brahmin, he figured this would the one heist that set him up for life so he could finally give up his high-risk career and move on to something more substantial, like kingship!

Late one night while the old man slept the thief crept silently into the tiny hut. As fate would have it, the moment his hands touched the vase the old man opened his eyes and rose from bed. After all, he was no longer young and there were many nights when his body forced him awake and sent him trotting for his chamber pot.

This night he looked up and saw the thief with his hands on the vase. The thief in turn, looked straight into the old man's eyes and struggled valiantly to think up a lie convincing enough to fool someone as wise and learned as an old Brahmin. However, when he opened his mouth to speak, the old man raised a hand to silence him.

"Don't bother, young man. I have always wondered when the day would come that someone would need the vase more than I. Obviously that day is today. Please take the vase. Goodness knows you can probably sell it for enough to buy a small kingdom. With wit and cleverness, a determined king can transform a small land into a large one. Take it and may the gods shine upon your venture."

Relieved and frightened at the same time, the thief walked off with the vase. Once he had availed himself of his chamber pot, the old man crawled back into bed and dreamed pleasant dreams of days when he was young.

Oh, and by the way, don't be peeking between the lines looking for a moral. In this case, there isn't one.