in which Little Kid asks Big Lady lots of questions, and suddenly, there is a story...
by Kye Nelson

[You might notice that the questions Little Kid asks Big Lady come in a certain order. That's on purpose, because when Little Kid asks the questions in just this way (and it does have to be Little Kid asking them!), then a funny kind of magic happens. This is a sort of game, and every time you play it, it will come out both different, and also the same... Try it yourself, and you will see! (In case you're wondering, the name of the game is "wisdom in practice", which is a very grownup name for a very Little Kid game.) ]

One day Big Lady was doing what she does, when Little Kid happened along, and asked, "Who are you?"

I'm a person who likes to watch the wind.

What are you doing?

Trying to figure out how to talk to a bunch of people who are going to be reading a nametag that says "Kye Nelson, Founder, antheosophia"

What are people like you called?


What all do you have to do?

You have to notice where something isn't, but it should be. A long time ago as a kind of joke, I wanted to answer the question that grownup people are always asking: 'what do you do?' by saying 'I fill holes.' I think one time I really did say that.

How come?

Noticing where something isn't, means noticing lots and lots of things that is. It's not just seeing that they are there, it's seeing exactly how they are there, and what they are doing. And then I get kind of mad or sad sometimes, or sometimes not even a bad feeling exactly. It's just that the way they are doing it feels kind of bumpy. Or, there isn't any way for somebody to do something. Or they are all sad or mad, and I don't like that. So then I make up something.

How come people want somebody to do that?

Sometimes I don't think they do. Today I am not sure they do. But that's kind of silly. The thing is, in one way they do, because then they can do something that they wanted to do all the time, or things look all different. But that's kind of scary for people too. It's kind of like having to move out of a house you like a lot but it's not got a room just for you, to a different house that's got a room for you where you get to do all kinds of things you couldn't do before. And that's fun. But it's sad leaving the old house that you like a lot and sometimes its scary. So then sometimes people don't really want to move after all.

How come you are doing this job?

I just came that way.

A long time ago, when I was little, we had some number rods that were different sizes and colors for every number. It was like seeing counting. I loved them. I got to play with them only sometimes. It was like they had magic inside of them.

They went next to each other to make stairs going up and up and up--but the colors didn't go next to each other like a rainbow does. And that didn't feel good inside me. So when I was a grownup, I made some that did go right, and some new games that you could play with them, and some other things that went with them.

And for a while I thought that just making up those things was enough for one person to have done. I was so happy. And for a while I made them and told people about them and showed them how to use them, and got money for them. But then it got all grumbly and unhappy inside because I'm not supposed to be doing those kinds of things. I'm supposed to be making up things. And all the time I wanted to find out about new things, and I was watching things all the time, too. And so I let somebody else make those number things and I did something new. (But then they got sick and couldn't do it any more, and I didn't have any money for starting that again with somebody else. And that makes me sad to think about.)

Would you cry if you didn't get to do making up any more?

[The answer to this one Big Lady whispered very quietly, so that only Little Kid would hear...]

Will you show me how?

It seems kind of funny, showing a little kid how to make up things. You just have to be a little kid to make up things. At least, I always did. But maybe not every little kid does. I wonder about that, now.

Anyway, when I play 'making up things', my favorite way is to try something for something else. That makes me feel good inside just to think about. Like, when I was very little, we lived on a farm, and there was a creek. And I loved to play there. And I also loved reading about princesses and elves and things like that. There was moss growing in the creek, and it was long, and very flexible. It reminded me a little bit of yarn or thread. So one day I decided that I would get some out of the water and hang it over a tree that had fallen down, and let it dry. And then I would weave it together and make cloth out of it, like an elf princess might have for a dress. (I was learning about weaving things then, too.)

But you know what? It didn't work, because when the moss was dry it wasn't all bendable like water anymore. It got kind of hard. But that was okay, because I just made up something else.

You know what I was just noticing? Part of the making up game is weaving things together. Because I was weaving together elves, and princesses, and long and bendy, and weaving, and what you use for weaving, and what you do weaving for, and moss, all together, like lots of colors of thread. But I couldn't have done that if I didn't notice things and want to make something.

What is that? what's it for? how do you make it work?

It's called 'not doing anything in particular', or a more fancy name I sometimes use is 'open attention'. My favorite name for it is 'being a cat sitting in the sun'.

It's for getting quiet enough to notice something. You make it work by liking it, and then you just do get quiet.

How do you know what to do next?

I take a nap or go for a walk or take a bath, or just look out the window for a while. And then I am not trapped by what is supposed to be happening or what I want, and then I know what to do next.

How come you do it like that?

Because otherwise it's just the old supposed-to way. Then it's not making things up. But beside that, when I do something like that, then I feel good all over and inside too, and then when I make something up it happens better, because it kind of grows out of my good feeling.

Do you ever not know what to do?

That's a funny question. I feel like I always know what to do, and what I always know to do is to not know what to do. I kind of just wait until... but I'm not really waiting at all.

Tell me a story about it!

[And then you know what happened after that!]

Would you like to try playing?

This material © 2002 by Kye Nelson. All rights reserved.

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