fable of the woman who tried to see as the man saw

“If you ever tried to see the world from my point-of-view, you’d realize I’m right,” the man told her.

“I wouldn’t want to pollute my eyes,” the woman replied.  “But okay, okay—here’s what I’ll do:

“Just for today, I’ll try to see things as you see things.

“That should be easy enough for me to do.  After all, I’ve heard you spout the same nonsense for years.  Heard all about our dog-eat-dog world.  And those silly conspiracies!  Your words are firmly embedded in my brain.”

So the woman adjusted her mindset and went forth into the world…

…and that world soon began change before her eyes.

The shadows appeared to darken.  Corners and edges sharpened and hardened.  Now the trees seemed somewhat menacing.  Were the smiles of the passersby actually malicious grins?

These changes frightened her, yet the woman continued.

“Maybe it’s smart to look at things this way,” she thought.  “The world could indeed be a darker place, a harder place than I wish to believe.  Maybe I’m a fool to take every smile at face value.  Maybe the trees really do hate us—who could blame them?”

But then the birds in those trees stopped chirping.  Instead, they shouted curses.

“Okay, that’s enough!” the woman yelled to the air.  “Yeah, maybe my view of the world is a little too bright.  Maybe I often reject the darkness of this life…

“But I refuse to live in a world where birds hurl curses.”

And so, with some relief, she stopped trying to think as the man thought, stopped trying to see as he saw.

However…

…after she snapped back, the woman noticed her view of the world wasn’t quite as sunny as before.  Not dismally dark, nor dully gray.  But with more degrees of shade.  She realized her vision had expanded.

“So if I keep trying to see the world through others’ eyes, maybe I’ll have great vision someday,” she told herself.

In case you’re wondering, she still argues with the man…

But not so loudly these days.  And not just because she’s seen the world from his point-of-view…

…but also because she now knows his pain.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry blog

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, and fabulist...A new mythologist, a peace miller, a dream worker...I don't qualify as an illustrator or photographer--I just "make pictures"...I have thirteen books available at amazon... I currently reside in northwest Arkansas, but have lived and worked all over the United States... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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