A sash fastened by a hook hangs down
And passes through the hole of a jade ring.

Dream - I am a king surrounded by 10 loyal subjects who form a perfect circle around me. They are surrounded by a larger circle of more people who take their orders from the 10. This type of chain of command continues ad infinitum. Every thought would be transmitted this way.

Man Listens to His Nose

Dear Editor:

I was taking a bath one day. I have my bath everyday and I like to take the time to think about all the things I need to do. Well, I think about a lot of things; like, this day I had my finger in my nose. My nose has been getting pretty stuffed-up with all this ragweed going around, but I took an Actifed (it's the only thing that works) and it turned all that snot into hard dry boogers (excuse the expression). While I had that finger up my nose, I was kind of day-dreaming and breathing out slow and steady-like. I couldn't breathe in, except through my mouth. The sound that came from that other nostril was like what you hear after the T.V. has signed off, but I discovered that if I breathed out just right (I got a lot of breath control from playing clarinet in the marching band ages ago when I was in high school), it started sounding like really bad reception of a ball game on the am radio. I kept adjusting my breathing like I was tuning in something, and then it happened! I heard this voice, and it said, "Earth 1990. This is Dr. Bolger from the year, 5321, transmitting Time Reiteration Broadcast No. 632. Change, you bastards, change!" I guess our language hadn't changed much for those thousands of years, but I'd never heard of "reiteration." I kept listening, but he just kept repeating, "Change . . . change, bastards!" sounding so desperate like someone was yelling for their losing team to "run" or "slide."

I started getting pretty scared, so I shivered getting out of the bathtub, didn't bother to towel off, and looked up "reiteration." I'm not looking at it right now, but it's something to do with doing things over again. This had to be important so I commenced to phone calling. I called the police, the newspaper, and even the army, since I thought this was like spotting a UFO. Well, I guess they all thought I was nuts. I never heard anyone talk to me so nice and polite like I was my granny in a nursing home. They took my name and number, and said they'd get back with me if they "had any other reports of this nature." It's funny that all three of them had the same line. I'm not too dumb to tell that one of them was trying real hard to hold back a laugh.

The morning paper gave me the answer, I thought. I've been taking the morning news for the want ads, since I am out of work, but this morning I didn't get right to it because of all this nose business. There was a story about a bunch of egg-heads getting together at the Institute to talk about Time. I figured that if anyone was going to be interested in my nose, those brains would. I showed up down there while they were just getting started, signing folks up, but they wouldn't let me in without my giving them a bunch of money, and you know I didn't have any money because I told you I've been out of work. Then I saw about four of the younger geniuses sitting and gabbing along a wall outside the conference center. I figured these younger fellas would at least listen to me, my being their elder.

Well, they listened to me alright but I didn't think they even believed the things they were saying. They would just say stuff I couldn't understand and then laugh and laugh. I'd be willing to believe them if they didn't laugh so much. They talked a lot of nonsense about butterflies and hurricanes, but the only idea that stuck with me was, "Anything might be a seed if it's in the right place in the right dynamic."1 I didn't quite understand it, but I had one of 'em say it slow so I could write it down.

I came home in a sad and thinking state of mind, feeling like I'd been poked fun at. I decided to take another long bath, even though I had one that day. My sinuses were pretty clear, so I wasn't about to get any more messages. That warm water, though, was just what I needed to figure this thing out. That desperate voice was just wanting change, any change. I figure that the year, 5321, is pretty terrible, and those folks want it to change, even if it means their not being born. Those smart-alecs at the Institute taught me one thing, that it wouldn't take much. Just my knowing about the future is going to have some effect on it; even if nobody believes me. I'm writing this letter to the newspaper because I want to get as much change happening as I can. If this gets printed, then just you reading this will change things whether you like it or not. It's the least I can do for our children who are crying for help!

Both the Mockingbird and the Dog attest to the fact that every thought (especially when it is put into action) creates ripples of influence which may not stop until they have become crushing waves. "Anything might be a seed if it is in the right time and the right dynamic."

41 Briggs, John and David Peat. The Turbulent Mirror;Harper Co.; 1990.

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