Parable: A Man Draws a Circle

   A man in a meadow draws a circle. He draws a circle with his feet, not his hands. He ceases his wandering, forever, so long as he walks the circle he draws with his feet on the floor of the meadow beneath him.

   A circle is pefect only in its round-ness. If round is what we love, or if the space within the circle we prescribe is all we need, the circle is perfect within and without.

   The orbit of the circle describes itself. There are never more or fewer steps, except, possibly as the stride of the walker lengthens or diminishes. Perhaps age makes his stride lesser. On a cool day during his youth he may step more briskly, so gaining an inch each stride, but the circle does not broaden, for, if it should, it would lose its perfect round-ness, enlarging or diminishing its borders and, with that, the confined area that gives its shape and life.

  A man draws a circle in a meadow with his feet. He revolves around some center, which he can possibly see, less likely locate and less possibly still explain. He draws his circle with his feet. Over time he comes to understand the feet are his but not the circle. It is more likely he belongs to the circle he draws than that the circle belongs to him, though he is the one who draws what he sees as a circle, perfect in its round-ness, a proper confinement to his body, which is, itself, dominated by his pandering feet. 

   A man in a meadow draws a circle. His drawing is a kind of writing, for his feet leave a type of ink-stain on the face of the earth for all to read who run that way. From his described circle, a reader would know he walked that way, once, and then again, for once would not bend the grass stems, scattter the weeds or pound the loose soil down to firm a path.

   The following readers would know he had an eye for art, so perfect in its round-ness was his circle. The reading historians would look inside the circle to see what drew him around it. The philosopher would look outside the circle to see what held him there. The mathematician would read the path itself and see a hundred smaller areas within the circle, all of which might tell a tale to him.

   The theologian would look first from inside the circle to out, not missing the path itself, then read back from the outside as far as he could see back to the very inside, not missing the dreary repitition of the path in its round-ness, back to the inside core and back out again. This time he would not stop outside the path at the limit of his sight but would imagine the circle expanded to the horizon and then beyond to the next horizon's horizon.

   A man in a meadow draws a circle with his feet. Men come along to read after him the story he lives. He must write with his feet whatever he can write, whatever he wants, for, if he has not freedom to choose his words, he dies and his circle loses all shape. Without freedom he cannot draw a round path for other men to read after him. He might stop at the borders of common decency but he must write what he wants or the circle has not the round-ness a circle requires.

4 thoughts on “Parable: A Man Draws a Circle”

  1. …Specifically the Seer’s part in the Nick Nolte movie versoin played by Sunshine Parker(Loyd Olen Parker from Lawn, Texas).

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