The Parable of the Flower
There once was an extraordinarily beautiful flower more beautiful than any flower that ever came before and ever came after. This flower was Unique .. All that saw it wanted it for themselves. Somehow, the flower embodied all beautiful things in women: sensitivity, balance, fertility, sensuality, allure,.. the list seemed endless when a man's gaze chanced to pass upon it.
When women would see the it, all that is great in men seemed to 'jump out' at them from the flower: strength, consistency, passion, zeal, mysteriousness, virility,.. Now, of course, many of these things are available in both sexes of men and women, so if you focus on the lists and not on the story, you're missing the point. The flower was Unique; all that saw wanted it for themselves; it had a truly magical aura.
Who would possess this Unique flower? Who would own it?
One very rich man with long family heritage came by one day and saw the flower.. “I must have it!” He proclaimed to all within earshot. “I must have it for my very own!” He repeated.
A very poor man crawling on the ground was nearby.. He was in rags.. He could not walk.. He seemed to crawl with his chin and shoulders – unable to move his arms, legs, or torso. His body stank from never showering. Flies swarmed around hm attracted to his stench and rotting clothes. His face was contorted from disease and neglect. But, he was curious about all the hullabaloo. He wanted a glimpse of the Flower for himself.. “What is it you see?” (He could barely be heard.. His voice was raspy and barely inaudible in the cacophony.) “What is it you see?” He repeated.
The rich man glanced in the poor man's direction averting his eyes automatically from the almost visible stench and cloud of flies surrounding him. His hand automatically went to his mouth and nose covering both with a gilded handkerchief embroidered with real gold threads, scented lightly with a rare perfume, and placed into his pocket by his newest wife.. “You don't need to see this beggar! This is something beyond your wildest imaginings and belongs to someone like me!”
Now the poor man was really curious and had to see this mystery for himself. Under tremendous exertion, he managed to pull himself up on his left elbow, prop his chin in his lifeless left hand, wobbling and threatening to land his face in the mud.. He made direct eye contact with the rich man and stated: “I never begged from you. How do you know I'm a beggar? I could be your long lost cousin for all you know.” The rich man was too entranced by the Flower to care.. The poor man followed his gaze to the Flower and stopped wobbling his arm. Something magical seemed to happen..
Spittle and drool stopped flowing from his contorted mouth. His body remained motionless for a long moment in time. The flies surrounding him seemed to take a break and disappeared. Even his rags seemed less disgusting. He became entranced by the Flower as the rich man was..
Both were utterly captivated by the Flower.
They didn't notice two children playing in the mud nearby..
A little boy was playing with a little girl and spotted the Flower out of the corner of his eye. He didn't fully See the Flower for what it was. To the boy, it was just an ordinary flower .. He had just met the girl and knew both rich man and poor man from previous experiences. Again, the flower was just a flower to him and he wanted to impress his new girlfriend. Before anyone could do anything, he ran over to the flower intending to pick it for his beau. The crowd surrounding the Flower gasped in horror at the impending scene.
The poor man attempted to scream: “STOP!” but all that came out was a growl.
The rich man spotted an opportunity. He loudly stated to the boy in a booming voice: “Boy! Pick that flower for me and my newest wife! I will give it to her, she will put it in her hair, and she will be the envy of all women!” .. “I will give you 10 pieces of gold for this!” ..Now, the rich man knew nobody could 'own' the Flower in any real sense of the word. As soon as it was picked, the Flower would begin to wither and die. Everyone understood this – that's why nobody had attempted to pick the flower beforehand .. But, knowing his power in the town, he decided to take a gamble..
“Give me that flower boy! What are you waiting for!”
The boy looked at the Flower – Seeing it for the first time. When he Saw the Flower, all amazing things came back to him: his first time tasting ice-cream, his first secret kiss, his first time to see a girl as a girl.. When he finally Saw the Flower, he began to See as a young man and not a boy. A miraculous transformation occurred. The boy was no longer a boy but saw all things as a man .. He stopped stooping. He stood erect and confident. He looked at the crowd surrounding him and realized his place in all the people. For as long as he could remember, for as long as he would be short, the town would see him as a 'little boy' never respecting him as a man – somewhere between the poor man and the rich man – but definitely closer to the poor man on the ground.
“You pick it yourself bitch!” The crowd laughed at the boy's impertinence .. He returned his gaze to the Flower and then to his girl and then to the poor man.. He calmly but confidently walked to him.. He was indifferent to the stench. He helped the poor man get closer to the Flower. As the boy helped the man toward the Flower, the poor man said: “Why are you helping me boy?” .. The boy replied: “I'm not a boy anymore. Stop calling me that. I'm helping you because you remind me of me in this stupid town. Everyone sees me as a boy but I'm not a boy!” He heaved and heaved and eventually got the poor man much closer to the Flower – right up close.
The rich man felt threatened by all this. He called for the town constable. He could not believe his eyes when the boy helped the beggar closer to 'his' Flower. “Constable!” he yelled. His voice faltered. He felt he was losing control of the situation. All his money, wives, and property didn't seem to matter much anymore.. All that mattered to him was the Flower! He must have it! Even if it withers and dies! He must have it! The Flower at all costs!
He waded through the crowd toward boy, beggar, and Flower..
[to be continued]