Advent: In This Age of Uncertainty….(December 16, 2008)

…there is the continued story of the little boy with no gifts.

   That is, the poor little man had no talents, no inner abilities or outer strengths. His sinew was as flaccid as his intelligence quotient was low. He was neither strikingly tall nor cutely small. He was as bereft of gifts as an oak tree is of leaves in late February.

   "He is very pleasant," an old crone friend of his grandmother said, one hot day.

   "Yes," the utterly barren boy's grandmother replied. "He is no trouble. He is very pleasant."

   They both missed what he was in their feminine need to find some attribute worthy of praise. Women are like that, as long as the man is not their husband or some other close male or old man.

   "He is pleasant," they said, and nodded together, fanning themselves as they rocked on the porch. They were pleased to find some good thing to say about the talentless lad. He was not their responsibility, after all, nor their caretaker and it was pleasant for them to feel they could find something nice to say about anyone and everyone.

   They were wrong, though. The little boy, for he was a wee bairn only at that time, was not pleasant. He was just absent. He did not squall much or cry for attention. He could sit for hours, quietly, staring ahead of himself, barely moving, requisit of nothing, promising no more than nothing.

   He was not much trouble. The ungifted boy was as clueless as he was talentless.

   He was just absent.

   "One day," his aunt told his mother, "that boy will wander off and run gobsmack into Wilbur, the Wizard of the Woods."

   "You better watch him close," she added.

   In fact, the absent child needed no more watching than a rock needs measuring. By the time you encounter a rock as a rock, it is pretty much all the rock it will ever be. If a rock gets smaller, it is a bit at a time. You do not need to watch it very closely.

   So it was with the little absent boy. He did not so much run off as he wandered away an inch at a time. One good shout could retard his wandering for months. Snails ran away from him.

   "Gobsmack into Wilbur the Wood Wizard," the aunt said one day, as she repealed three weeks of meandering progress by putting the little boy on her lap in the rocker. Three weeks of roaming. He had not quite left the porch.

   Now, he would have to start all over again.

   He was a clueless lad.

To be continued…

  

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