This is James. All the worst names were taken, so he got the best name. James. James has told us about this world that is out there. A world where you have to read between the lines. The world he grew up in didn’t have any lines. Because he didn’t know lines, he also never knew when he crossed one. When he crossed a boundary somewhere. He just didn’t know. Because he didn’t see.
James asked for help. He needed a bigger picture. And when we made the picture a little bigger, we saw another sheep. Confession sheep. Confession sheep was to his left. But in the bigger picture confession sheep was to the right. Also this confused James. He only had one perspective.
‘Maybe we shouldn’t make things too complicated for starters, Potamotrygorgeous. James is a starter, you know, regardless of what his name might suggest to you.’
So confession sheep patiently waited on the left of James’ perspective. And he waited for him to enter his own reality again. Because that’s how sheep learn. If you stay really close to what they know, feel, want, say and desire, close to what they can fathom, they will grow. The same way you don’t feed a baby salmon with cream cheese, even though you know that is really really good. It’s not about you. Not today. It’s about James.
– Hmmmkay.. well.. let me show you what I do.
– This is..
– What I do.. in life..
‘Oh sweetie James. If only you knew from our perspective that even looking at your side is marvelous and that your backside features are wonderful too. But again.. it’s not about us. Let’s focus on the front of you first. Because that is how you came into this world. Face first, head first, eyes first. Will you let me help you turn around one more quarter? I want to tell you something.’
‘There is such a thing called boundaries in life. Boundaries are the only thing necessary for things, situations, sheep, material to come into being. If a circle doesn’t have something roundish around it, the circle can’t be seen. That is a weird thing to think about, isn’t it?’
– ‘You mean the circle doesn’t exist?’ James asked.
‘It does exist, only you can’t see it with your eyes, but we’ll get to that later,’ confession sheep said.
‘Everysheep has boundaries. Because of that you see the difference between a leg and a hoof. Between a head and an ear. Between bellowing and bleating. Between hunger and appetite. Between libido and being in heat. Between being awake and being asleep. Between male and female. Between everything that has a between between them. But disregard that last sentence.’
‘You are a visual sheep, James. Because you are so young still, regardless of your biological age. You still think that there is no difference between your fantasies and your reality. You still think there is no difference between your inner world and somesheep else’s inner world. So I am going to make things visible, so you can relate to what I am going to tell you.’
‘Let’s say I want to hug you.. That is my wish, that comes from within me. Things can only come into being if they have a boundary, remember that I said that earlier? So the wish to hug you must be distinguished from another feeling. The same way that you can only see evil in the world if you know good. So let’s draw a line here, and that line makes the difference between me not wanting to hug you and me wanting to hug you.’
‘There. Can I hug you now, you think?’
-‘euh.. yes?’ James replied.
‘Okay, let’s try it then,’ confession sheep said. ‘Here I am, getting real with my feelings, getting close to what I want, feeling that boundary within me, that there are certain sheep that I don’t want to hug and that I feel different when I am with you, feeling me wanting to hug you, so I am at that point now that I feel that want to hug you, see?’
‘So can I hug you?’ confession sheep asked.
– ‘Sure, if that’s what you want’, James replied.
‘Let me rephrase.. am I able to hug you now?’ confession sheep asked anew.
– ‘Hmm.. guess not, you are still too far away..’ James said.
‘Was I really too far away?’ confession sheep asked. ‘From whose perspective was I far away? And too far away from what or whom? Because I was very close to my true feelings, true to my feelings, I was very much in touch with what I truly wanted, and those feelings were that I wanted to hug you. I don’t think I couldn’t have come any closer to that white line I just drew. But you observed that there was distance. What caused the distance? Where was I far away from?’
– ‘From m..’ James replied.
– ‘From me!’
‘Yes. Because you were not close to my line, my boundaries. With my line I made it clear what it is what I want. Your turn to draw, sweetie,’ confession sheep said. ‘You have boundaries too. It’s only when you draw boundaries, or lines in this example, that you can explicitly know when you cross them, and that you know which lines has been crossed, because everything about you has different boundaries. Perhaps the line for feeling full looks blue. Perhaps the line for staying up late is short and yellow. Perhaps the line for the amount of words you want to bleat with another sheep is crinkly red. Perhaps the boundary for walking on the rim of Potamotrygorgeous’ balcony is thick and black. All lines. All you. Where would you draw the line if it comes to hugging? And specifically let yourself be hugged, by me?’
– ‘I never had a marker like this…’ James said. ‘I do recognize what you are talking about now, but I always thought that othersheep’s lines where the only one that existed. I thought those were my lines too..’
– ‘So I can draw the line? My line.. my.. This might take a while, confession sheep,’ James said. ‘I don’t know if I can make a straight line, like yours, or a thick line like yours, and I can’t promise I can do it as quick as you can, and what if mine is slanted..’
‘It’s your boundary,’ confession sheep said, ‘there is no constructive value in comparing it with mine, that is the whole essence of it all, it’s about you. The only thing we have in common is the color of it, since it concerns the same thing, and that is because it concerns a hug from me. But you can draw your feelings about it it wherever, with any shape or form. And in your own pace,’ confession sheep said to James. ‘I will wait behind my line.’
And so James drew his first line. And confession sheep gave him time to do so. Confession sheep gave him space to do so. Confession sheep borrowed his marker to James because he knew that it would be too big of a task to explain that James had to get his own set of markers. That would be of later importance. First things first. Learn to draw first.
And confession sheep gave James time to enjoy his first line. He gave him the opportunity of looking at it. James had to understand that this line belonged to him. That it was a visualization of what had happened inside of him. The feeling of drawing. The pressure it took in his hoof, the smell on the surface, all the thoughts that raced through his head.. James was beginning to understand he had emotions, feelings, thoughts, wishes, desires, that all belonged to him and because they belonged to him he had to make sure they stayed with him, and so he had to guard them. And that because of him now being able to guard it, he was also able to actually see them.
‘That sure is a fine line you drew there,’ confession sheep said. ‘It is clearly visible for me, I really can work with this. Now let’s try this again,’ confession sheep said. ‘I want to hug you. That means I feel this inside me and I stay true to that feeling. You already know what I am about to do, so it must come as no surprise that I will come closer to my line. Now I am asking you. Because it’s YOU I want to hug. What do you want?’
– ‘I want that too,’ James said. ‘But there is still a gap between us now!’
‘But we are one step closer than we were earlier, weren’t we?’ Confession sheep said, ‘because I don’t have to lean into you and risk tipping over that line and squash you with my wish and weight, and because you have your own line now you don’t feel the need to turn your back on me, correct? Step two is looking at the space between us. That is the common ground we have, you have made your wishes clear, I have made my wishes clear. Step two is to ask the other sheep if it’s okay that you may hug them.’
– ‘Yes..’ James whispered bashfully shy. It was in this moment that he felt how young he still was. Nobody ever asked him what HE wanted.. It was like he heard his own voice for the first time. It was as if his drawn white chalk thingy, called boundary, was like a wall that echoed back his true feelings. It was as if the line he drew was hung full of mirrors in which he could see himself. Himself! There actually was a him! Yes, he said anew, this time a little louder. YES!
‘I give you the best nose hug that I could ever give to somesheep. I saved this nose hug especially for you, because the hugs needn’t be big to have a big impact,’ confession sheep said.
And because it is never overdue, even not when you are talking thousands of days, Potamotrygorgeous took up the marker…
.. her first word..
Because you can look back thousands of days and regret the absence of a drawing kit. But there is only one day that counts. And that day is when you decide to let yourself borrow that one marker from that one sheep and draw that one line.
It probably was the first word you uttered when you were born, regardless of your actual day of birth, or your biological age. Correct?