Recently, as I was strolling around the garden of my mind, I heard someone say that “Joe sucks.” I pondered that fact from the literal and figurative point of view. I wondered how Joe sucked. As I neared my destination, I heard a noise from behind yonder tree. I quickened my step, curious at the sound. I turned the corner to find Joe. Joe was sitting staring hopelessly at his chest area. He had a ribbon like connection from his forehead to his heart. It was flexible but stiff. It was torn in the middle, ends frayed and fluttering in a space in his chest. The space had a swirling cloud above it, leaving traces of white trails in a counterclockwise direction, disappearing in a black hole in Joe’s chest.
It was true, Joe sucked!
Despite the horrific noise, I sat with Joe and questioned his fate. Joe began to analyze his situation and consider the most efficient and effective way to brooch the subject. He thought for several moments, then spoke in a flat, unmodulating voice. ” You see,” said Joe, ” I have spent a lifetime ignoring my emotions. I was told that boys don’t cry and that I needed to ‘man up'” I nodded. Joe went on, “The pathways that connected my heart to my head were seldom used. I defaulted into my thoughts as a matter of course. When confronted with death, love, family, hurt, whatever, I resorted to analysis.” I pulled hard on my ability to rationalize.” Joe paused, the noise grew louder and then softer. “Well, one day I pulled too hard, I broke the tie between head and heart.” Joe then flapped the torn ribbon. He spoke nonchalantly. ” Well the next day there was a spot on my chest. I remember that there was a slight breeze and my chest hairs waved. The hole grew and grew, as did the noise.” I was fascinated at Joe’s plight. Unfortunately, my feet were numb, and my arse sore. I stood and stomped my feet.
Unwavering, Joe went on, ” As the hole and noise grew, I thought that I should find a way to stop the flow of air and material into this black hole I have. I thought if I could hold someone else close enough, it would hold the edges of my ribbon together and repair the rent. I met many women and held them as close as I could. Many simply vanished, others were able to pull away and leave unscathed.” “That didn’t work, so I decided to purchase large electronics, and maybe automobiles in an attempt to plug the drain, if you will.” Joe seemed untouched by the naivete of his actions. “Suddenly, I thought that perhaps I should fill the hole with religion. I sought out the strictest religion I could find. I participated in the rituals, memorized texts, and gave 10% of my income. After some time of that, I recognized the futility of my action, and wondered out of yonder church to sit here.” Joe paused, pulled the lower 1/2 of his ribbon, and asked, “What should I do now?”
IT has been sometime since I was with Joe. At the time, I could think of nothing to say and merely shrugged and walked away. The next morning I awoke shivering feeling a breeze. I saw a small hole in my chest and panicked. There was still time, before it would become hopeless. I needed to find a way to be whole to combat my hole. I searched the internet, read books, queried the wise. My hole grew and the sound was deafening. I sat under the same tree and a funny little fellow came up to me. He reminded me of Yoda and I tried not to laugh. His name was Bubba. Bubba sat and prayed. I tried not to disturb him, but the noise grew louder. I asked him what I should do. Bubba said, “Quit doing and Be.” Thinking this to be some sort of Yoda speak, I showed him my hole and said, “How do I fix this?” Bubba grinned his little Yoda grin, which was becoming less amusing to me by the minute. He spoke slowly, “Look here, you have compartmentalized your feelings and thoughts. You are living a partial life because you cannot approach anything with your whole self. The disconnect between heart and head creates a vacuum in the average man. In the West that vacuum leads to consumerism or trying to fill the black hole vacuum with stuff, with sex, or even with religion. So, perhaps the walking the walk doesn’t match with the talking the talk. Its the lack of integrity of self that is not trust-worthy. And in an environment where ‘time is money’ many times we don’t have the time to wait and see if the actions will match the words. We risk and have expectations that there will be integrity, but alas we have put our hopes of ‘breathing fresh air’ into an airless vacuum.” I begged, “Yes but what do I do now?” I wept at my loss of life and the emptiness in my soul. Bubba stood, put his hand on my shoulder and whispered, “The noise is gone.”