Ideas float around in the air, light, translucent, feathery pieces of fluff
barely visible to the naked eye. One of them lands on the top of my head,
but I don't see it. I wouldn't have seen it even if I had eyes in the back
of my head.
But then this young child comes up to me and gently reaches out to the idea,
takes it in her delicate, little hand, examines it carefully for a while,
looks up at me and says, "Where did that come from?"
I can hardly see the tiny piece of fluff in her little hand so I bend over
to give it a closer look but my movement stirs the air and "poof!" it's
gone, nowhere to be seen. Ideas can be like that. Now I have to ask her
about my idea since she's the one who's gotten a good look at it.
"Tell me, what did it look like, what did you see?"
Fortunately she's an articulate little thing who enjoys recounting her
observations in high detail. What she says amazes me.
"Well, I saw quite a number of things; the first thing I noticed about it
was that it was a very intricate abstraction. I saw two signatures, both
starting with the letter "G," Gauguin and Galois... Paul and Evariste. Hmmm
, sounds French. And secondly, that it was a marvelous recitation about the
many fascinating qualities of color and light." At this point I have to stop
her, not knowing quite what she meant by the word "abstraction," especially
from such a tiny thing, so I inquire as to how it is that something physical and
so minute and that must have come directly from nature itself, can be abstract.
"It's not physical, at least not the abstract part of it," is her soft, simple reply.
Since my next question is putting a lot of pressure on my lips, I decide to
think about her answer at some other time. " You said a recitation?
How could that tiny little feather thing talk? Maybe it might have made a little
squeak or two, but an entire recitation, how could that be?"
She smiles a moment, looks down toward the grass as if her smile might
offend me, then slowly, calmly looks deep into my eyes, "Talking is just
one way of speaking, you can hear things with your eyes as well as with your ears."
This is getting complicated. By the phrase as well as, does she mean
"as thoroughly as," or, does she merely mean "also?" I'd better not ask, it might
distract her from the rest of what she has to say, so I remain silent. But she doesn't
go on. She waits for me to silently think more deeply about what she's already said.
We play a waiting game...... I, refusing to digest her earlier words, and she, waiting
for me to do so.
And that's how we left it. No more to build on there. And she, since she was not the
one left uncompleted, went on her merry way.