I like to run away. It is my preferred, although imperfect, style of dealing with the world. And especially with conflict. I do not like to fight or to challenge. I tend to be passive and gentle, and I try to be kind. I try not to kill anything, even an insect.

And yet, I do not live in a similar world. That is, I give. But the world takes. I let live, and the world kills.

To highlight this point, let me relate a story.

I recently sought solitude and reflection on a bench near a lake. I saw the location from afar and decided to stop and visit there. On my walk, around the lake to reach the bench, I chanced upon a frog. I rarely see such animals since I normally live in a desert. And I was walking fast enough to apparently startle it. It jumped just thrice to move away from my path, and I was about to stoop down and marvel at its beauty. This…one of God’s amazing creations. But before I could even come to a complete halt, it leapt twice more, towards the lake shore to probably seek refuge in the water. In the blink of an eye two ducks appeared from the water’s edge, and one promptly gobbled up the frog. The other looked on longingly. I only had a view of one leg briefly dangling from the duck’s mouth. I wanted to chastise the duck for killing the frog which had done nothing deserving of the ending of its life that moment. It was only mistakenly fearful of me. But can I discipline an animal for what it does naturally? The ducks were merely hungry. And yet, I could not help noticing the irony: In my effort to seek out peace and tranquility, and then the beauty of creation, a form of violence met me along the way. I was left reminded that even in the animal kingdom, they eat each other.

And so do we…do we not? Not as we eat food, but certainly humans are wont to devour each other in other ways: tricking, stealing, lying, conniving in trade, manipulating, taking, holding in servitude, and I could go on.

And so, that is why I feel I must always leave. I do not want to live only to be “food” for something or someone else. And I want to live longer than that frog. Therefore, I have to recluse away from the maddening ducks and the “madding crowd,” else I may be eaten…at least figuratively. I feel that sometimes I seek only that peaceful bench, where I can exist safe from harm.

Parenthetically, I myself eat only vegetables and fruits, which are also arguably alive—but they do not have blood. So maybe, my inmost desire in life is only for a serene bench under a fruit tree, with some vegetables growing about.

Since I do not kill and because I do not want to act like the world does, I am perpetually leaving…moving from place to place…in order to stay alive. I honestly know no other way to survive—except to become as violent, or at least as selfish as the world is.

I conclude that given such choices, I would rather wonder about as a vagabond.

And to continue seeking that bench.


PS. I hope someone will place a bench over my grave one day. And that I will be buried away from any lakes so that there are no frogs about. There, some progeny may hopefully find solitude.

© July 30, 2019, Alignment Life

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