Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Basket Full Of Elephants

You know that old story about the blind men and the elephant? In trying to describe the unknown beast, each man investigates a different part of the animal and when they compare notes, they are unable to agree about what they have experienced.

I love that story, first of all, because it's about elephants. I'm fiercely devoted to them.

And I love that story also because it is so perfectly true. Most disagreements in this life - from the turmoil in Palestine to the question of who should unload my dishwasher - stem from our varying experiences, and the sooner we can accept each others' version of the truth as valid, the better off we will all be.

Most of all, I love that story because I so often stumble across metaphorical expressions of the same idea in my everyday life. For example, today I saw no elephants, but I did see this luxurious basket of hanging flowers at University Village in Seattle:


Three remarkably different views of one and the same blossoming extravaganza. Who could have guessed it? And who would dare to argue that one angle is more beautiful than the others? I just want to hug and kiss every single flower in the whole darn bundle.

I would hug and kiss the elephant too. If my arms would reach.

P.S. In case you are wondering, I didn't see any blind men today. But my daughters tell me that while I was snapping pics of this flower basket with wild abandon, a man watched me with an expression of either amusement or confusion on his face. Guess he has never seen anyone examine an elephant before. 

4 comments:

  1. Thank you, dear, for shedding more timely light.

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  2. I love a good elephant story. ;) And I'm certain about who should empty the dishwasher, but those people never seem to agree with me!

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    Replies
    1. My policy on dishwasher emptying: anyone but me. :)

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