From a Notebook Lost – The Same and The Other 70

by mudrhetoric

Thunder resounds in the distance as I walk to the destination. I love the rain. The smell, the sound, the sight, the cleaning and purifying quality. It washes away the poison. Up ahead to the left on the path I am currently on. I see a hut with a fire roaring inside. Fire like the rain cleans and purifies. Moving quickly I reach the hut and enter to warm myself. Seating by the fire are 3 men each varying in height: short, medium, large. I smile to myself looking at this odd group. Speaking boldly I say, “ Hail! Who are you fine folks and why are you here?”

They look at me quizzically with questioning glances, they look at each other confused, perhaps confounded. It would to odd to see a wanderer here, on this night, perhaps. But each answered in turn: small, medium, large, making me almost laugh out loud, but I controlled myself.

“Hail! I am Gregory, a shepherd.” “

Hail! I am Otto, also a shepherd.”

“Hail! I am Daniel, a shepherd as well. We are here for this is where the sleep when we take our sheep to graze on the grass. We come here once a month and our sheep stay there.” he points to a large building across the way that I had not noticed, but should have because the building is massive. He continues on, “But why are you here?”

I gaze into his yes and see a fire within. “ I, as you, am a shepherd, but now I am traveling to a destination, to when I reach, I shall be there and not here.” All 3 look back and forth between each other, whispering to each other.
(Short) “You are a shepherd as we are? I should explain we are not normal shepherds. We are shepherds of people. We spoke in riddles to see if you were a danger. We lead people along the way, the path. We have been there and show those that are here how to get there.”
“I am not a normal shepherd either. I am as you, but only in a way. I have not been there but only here. But where is there and where is here?”
(Medium) “There is there and here is here. But perhaps our there is your here or our here your there. Those things are different for each and everybody. So maybe you are already there or not.”
“How did you know you were there? Also, how do you lead the sheep if each way, path, is different?”
They have a shocked look in their eyes as if they resent me asking such a question. Smiling I shake the uneasiness off.
(Large) “You just know you are there. If you don’t know then you are not there or not. You could also not know and be there or not. But you should know and not know if you are here or there.”
(Small) “We lead sheep because they need to led. How would the sheep eat? How would they drink? How would they find shelter? How would they think? The sheep need all of these things and we are here to fulfill their needs.”
(Medium) “Without us the sheep would surely die. They couldn’t protect themselves from the wolves. They need us.”
(Large) “When you are there. You are no longer a sheep. As long as you are here. You are a sheep.”
(Small) “You decide when you are a sheep no longer. For only you know whether you are here or there.”
(Medium) “The sheep we lead want to be led.”
(Large) “Because we have been there and here. Our experiences help us lead those who here to there. We know because we have been there.”
(Small) “Since we have been there we know about there. And since we have been here we know about here.”
“But do you know all about here and there?”
(Medium) “We know enough.”

The rain has started as I feel the drips of water on my body. Rising I bow and run out of the hut. Dancing, leaping, and jumping in the rain, smiling.