It was an interesting story that this sad man was telling me; living alone in a cabin at the age of fourteen, starting a business selling wild vegetables and then finding someone who would teach him to read. Very interesting indeed. I listened intently as he continued his story.
“It was not long before I had a handle on this reading stuff. And that is when my problem started.”
The sad man broke into uncontrollable sobbing. It was painful for me to see. I turned my head away from him and made believe that I was watching something else. After a short time he was able to control himself and became quiet.
I told him that I had seen a grey fox and was watching it. He knew it was a lie and said “That’s OK. I do this all the time. I don’t think I am as embarrassed as the people who are subject to my sobbing. I am so sorry for having put you ill at ease.” He continued with the story.
“I learned to read; first it was childrens books, then small stories with pictures and finally I could read the bloodroot book. I had no interest in the process of bloodroot dying but was proud to be able to finish the book. There were other books with stories about far places and even one about a boy on a pilgrimage and how he met forty thieves.”
“Then one day I was sitting on my homemade log chair in front of my cabin. It was then that it happened. I was reviewing, in my mind, a story I had read about a flying carpet.”
“AN ORIGINAL THOUGHT ENTERED MY MIND.”
“It was unbelievable. I had a thought. It was something that my mind came up with all by itself. It wasn’t from a book or anything that someone had told me about. It was MY OWN THOUGHT, MY OWN ORIGINAL THOUGHT. I thought about that thought all day and into the night. I could hardly sleep.”
“Finally, as the whippoorwill repeated his lullaby, I dozed off.”
Again the sad man broke into tears. However, he controlled himself in a shorter time than the previous episode of sobbing. With a look of bewilderment he continued his tale.
“I awoke in the morning to the trill of a warbler. It was a nice morning yet something was hounding me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I rose from bed and washed my face in the motley blue glazed steel bowl.”
“As I dried my face it came to me. YES! I had an ORIGINAL thought yesterday. What was it?”
“I scoured my mind knowing that it would show up; but it didn’t. I tried all morning to remember what I had thought. IT WAS GONE!”
“The only original thought that I ever had – – – was gone.”
“I HAD LOST MY ORIGINAL THOUGHT.”