Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Rabbit On The Path, Fly On My Hand

Alston Park and Cowboy Cottage
Napa Valley and East Napa, California, USA

May 1, 2018

"We kill all the caterpillars, then complain there are no butterflies." ... John Marsden

This essay, Rabbit On The Path, Fly On My Hand, is the tenth in the dectet Menagerie:

Photography by Victoria Hamilton-Rivers

Oak Leaf Ranch, East Napa, California, USA

7:29pm Friday June 19, 2009
with Patient Horse
If we tell the truth about it, the total time we, the human race, spend on conversations for transformation as a percentage of the total time we spend on all our other  conversations worldwide, is not nearly enough for our own good. There's so much other "more important" stuff to talk about, yes? More than that, our very human constitution  is skewed (swayed, bent) away  from having conversations for transformation, and the skew is embedded in our DNA. One can only wonder what life on Earth could look like if conversations for transformation were de rigueur, global, multi-international. It's all I can do to set up my life to write them with who people really are in mind, and then publish them to the www. Many people assume "www" supposedly stands for "world wide web". But it actually stands for "world wide Werner".

Seriously though, once in a while, every so often, something happens which gives me pause to reflect: that transformation, which we already know is the ground of being that makes breakthroughs in communication possible between human beings, maybe also makes breakthroughs in communication possible between human beings and other species. Maybe. Can language cross the species  barrier? I wonder ...

Now to be honest, I vacillate back and forth between affirming whether that's possible or not. And even if it is possible, I still don't know how much it would be worth pursuing, given what else we've got on our plates dealing with people. Yet when it seems to happen (and it does seem to happen from time to time), it gets me wondering, speculating. Here, with no opinions added and with no conclusions drawn, are two recent incidents, both of which suggest to me it may indeed be possible.

Rabbit On The Path

I'm walking through a field of tall grass, clearing my head, taking a break from writing - at the same time, getting inspired to write again. I've got my T-shirt off. I've tucked it into my belt just below my spine. My shadow looks like I have a tail. The sun is pleasant on my skin. I drag my hand over the grass as I pass it by. It ripples like water. I turn a corner around a big rock, and there he is, right in front of me on the path: a large buck rabbit. He's up on his hind legs, sniffing my air. I stop dead in my tracks, standing stock-still. I'm a visitor in his domain. His being here, close enough for me to reach out and touch him in two or three steps, is splendid.

"Hi, Jack!"  I call out to him (it's my little joke: I've named him "Jack" - Jack ... rabbit, get it?) so happy to see him, "... but never say 'Hi, Jack!'  when you get on an airplane ..." (I wonder if rabbits have a sense of humor) (and if they do, is it similar to ours?). His reaction isn't one of laughter. Instead, his look and body language tell me he wants me to get away from there. He says "Go away!"  (that's how it occurs). Then he hops off the path, away from me into the brush, then back to me again, then away from me, like he's ... taunting me, wanting me to follow him, leading  me away???

I get it! His warren is close by, and he has a doe and kittens to protect (yes, baby rabbits are called kittens). I say to him "Don't worry: your secret's safe with me, Jack" and I follow him down the path. I let him lead me. When he's led me, hippity hoppiting along, to what for him is a safe distance away, he turns around, looks at me one more time, says "Now  go away. Goodbye!" (that's how it occurs) and slowly  hops off into the surrounding brush, completely unpanicked. Then he circles around, and heads back to his home and family, passing me by, no more than three or four feet to my left.

Fly On My Hand

People don't think twice about swatting flies. That's our thrown  reaction to them. Is there another way of being with flies? Such as: are they worthy of respect? Say whut?  Granted, "Are flies worthy of respect?" isn't a typical everyday question. To discover what it could reveal for you, you may want to engage with a Buddhist.

I have fly screens on my Cowboy Cottage's front door and windows so flies can't enter. Tonight one has somehow gotten in, and now he's trying to get out. But those selfsame screens which should have kept him out in the first place, are now trapping him inside. He's bumping (audibly) again and again into a window pane, frantic to escape. Then he flies not once, not twice, but three times around my head then back to the window each time, each flight about fifteen seconds apart, and he says  to me each time (that's how it occurs) "Help me! I want to get out of here.".

OK. Sitting at my desk I hold out my hand. If he'll land on it, I'll carry him outside. But he doesn't land on it. In his frenzy he doesn't seem to notice my offer. Instead he bumps into the window pane a few more times. I watch his frustration. I say to him (out loud) "You'll die in here if you don't come here and land on my hand so I can take you outside. You won't find anything to eat in here.". And I hold out my hand to him again, wondering "Does he comprehend the gravity of his situation?".

Now, in spite of myself, I don't believe what I'm seeing: in response, he flies over and lands on the back of my outstretched hand. Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller is right: he's an incredibly  designed flying machine. And I, keeping my word with him, slowly stand up from my desk, and head for the door, fully expecting him to take off again, once I start moving. He doesn't. I get to the door and open it, again expecting the movement and sound of the door opening to startle him into taking off. He doesn't. And eventually I step outside with him still landed on the back of my outstretched hand. I say to him "Take off now, little buddy. You're free. Go!".

He waits a little longer like he's in no hurry to leave me. "Go!"  I say again. With that, he launches himself upwards from my hand, and takes off. I say to him "Now don't be an idiot and fly back into the Cowboy Cottage again!" (the door is still open). Sure enough, he does fly back towards me ... only to say "Thank You!" (that's how it occurs). And again, he circles my head - twice. And I, now surprisingly unsurprised, say "You're welcome!" as he disappears into the night, and his freedom.

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