Dean had discovered ice cream. And not just any ice cream, it was honey flavored. One day he woke up and was given this sweetness and it was as if the taste buttons on his tongue opened up like poppies in a field, bursting open with open arms (or petals if you rather hear about flowers than tongues) to receive what was sprinkled over them. As if they were drizzling warm honey flavored ice crystals. It was as if the hunger he had inside was like a hole, which was now filled, or made whole by this misty treat. He was full. He was filled. And at the same time he couldn’t have enough of it.
That would be the best thing in life, he had always thought, when you find something that you really, really like to eat and then eat endlessly of it. He had always been disappointed with this physical thing called satiation. The moment he ate too much of whatever he chewed on, eventually he got to the full-point, some point of no return and he had to ride it out, stop eating, his stomach hurting, waiting for the pain to subside.
So, when you do a story about sheep eating ice cream, you have to at least use the phrase ‘once upon a time’. This is that once. So upon a time Dean sat down and shared his ice cream with little Sheebo, who was also pleasantly surprised at the taste of it. So they both ate, together, since it is good to do that, you can’t share a meal by yourself, can you? The more they licked the honey, the more they discovered there was more than enough.
‘What a weird ice this is’, little Sheebo said, ‘how come it doesn’t run out? I don’t see it breathing but it seems to be alive, I mean, normally when I eat, eventually I run out of whatever it is I am eating, and I am left with an empty meadow, and a painful full stomach. Most of the time we then just go to sleep, or walk someplace else where we can graze. But this is something different.’
Both sheep enjoyed the ice cream. It changed they way they thought about life, about sheep, about meadows, about wool, about well.. everything basically. And the more they ate, the more they changed, first on the inside, and then on the outside. It was as if the scent of honey just poured out of their pores, giving off this sweet warm scent all around. Even the wool they carried had this milky good and healthy glow.
One day, Dean was called to go on a trip. He was invited to talk about honey flavored ice cream someplace else. When he came back, he saw little Sheebo. By the looks of it, he had been eating, his wool was dirty and he had a different smell.
Little Sheebo replied: ice cream of course, how should you not know? Have you forgotten our last get-together? That ice cream we had? When you were gone I got myself another one. They said ‘here’s your ice cream, honey’. Here Dean, have some yourself, you must be exhausted from your trip.
Dean didn’t know if he should feel confused or angry (or exhausted, since the trip was long). ‘Another one, meaning an extra one?’ he asked, ‘or another one, meaning a different one?’
Little Sheebo felt his cheeks turning red, and he hoped that the writer would call it blushing and not flushing. ‘Oh,..’ he hesitated and felt the warm hand of Dean on his head.. ‘Is there a language or translation problem here, I mean, it’s just ice cream..’
‘So, now that’s out of the way.. hey, you.. I am so glad to see you again, sweetie, wanna pose pretty for a sec? Just for old times sake?’
And because little Sheebo was so happy to have his friend (and honey ice cream back), he draw this picture for Dean.
Sheep had picked up this book filled with lies, unknowingly. Because on the back it didn’t say that it were lies, he believed them to be truths. The book didn’t even say it was pregnant with mere speculations, or theories, or doodles of the mind of one man who was constipated, desperately longing for giving birth to dead defecations. One of the things that the book read was something he already had heard say all around him, so widely spread,.. it was the phrase ‘seeing is believing’.
He thought about the last time he talked about this amazing freshly green meadow he had visited, but other sheep didn’t believe him. Pics or it didn’t happen, they said. But Sheebo didn’t carry a cell phone. And even if he did, he would have uploaded the stuff on Instamäh and he didn’t know how to do that. Or, the other day when he mentioned this girl sheep he met. They didn’t believe she even existed! They wanted to see her themselves. Sheebo wondered if they would have believed it if they did meet her, they’d probably grill her (figuratively of course), and even then disbelieve her answer if she would confirm that she was his date.
He then thought about the impact of numbers. When he visited this amazing freshly green meadow, he was accompanied by other sheep, nineteen to be exact, because the story said that twenty sheep went to check it out. Would you believe that eighteen of them stood next to him, in that meadow, infirmly shuffling their hoofs in the soft sand saying “eh, yeah, this sure is amazing, and fresh, and green, and meadow, but eh.. I don’t think we’re supposed to be here.. because uhm.. have you seen the other animals? They probably will not allow us to graze here, they don’t look all that friendly, have you seen the size of ’em? Nah, this is a bad idea, let’s just go back.”
‘What’s with the doubt, Sheebo uttered. The fear!? The self-depreciation? This is the meadow we were supposed to graze in! The herder said it was ours!’
But the other sheep bowed their heads, closed their ears and went back. Upon coming back, they convinced the whole flock that the meadow was green all right, fresh all right, amazing all right, they even handed out some of the clover that they had taken with them, but they then added a but, saying it wasn’t for them to graze in the meadow because of the animals. The whole flock then bowed their heads in defeat (or it was to eat some clover that was lying around, we’re not sure).
But the herder promised! some little sheep bleated from underneath her mother. She didn’t have a name yet, but she did have a voice. She bleated softly: He is our herder, why would he lead us astray?
‘You haven’t been there, the eighteen sheep said quickly to her, you haven’t seen it, so it’s understandable that you don’t believe us. And you can’t understand at all, because you’re so young. But believe us, you don’t wanna go there.’
Huh, the little ewe said, philosophically speaking that doesn’t even make sense, what these eighteen sheep just said. And she turned to Sheebo: you saw the same thing as they did, you and your girlsheep, but somehow you saw something different, how can that be?
Sheebo answered: consider this, little mäh, if on your online bank account it shows you have 100 dollar, you know you would have 100 dollars to spend, right? Oh, wait, let’s use a healthier example.. if your herder would tell you that he promises to feed you, what would you do?
The little mäh was a little bit confused. ‘Eh, open my mouth?’ The question Sheebo asked was so simple that she doubted this would be the right answer. Come to think of it, that clover sure tasted good, she wondered if there was more.. but just in case she would look like a dork, she kept her mouth shut..
Sheebo said: Yes, you would open your mouth because you knew he promised food. You didn’t open your mouth because you saw food, right?
Well, sweetie. the same thing with this meadow. The two of us, me and my girly mäh, saw not through our own eyes, but through the eyes of the promise. Oh, and thank you by the way for believing that I have a girlmäh.
Would you by the way like to see the drawing I made for her?
This is the drawing, it belongs to a story in the book of truth, it is about those twenty sheep I just told you about. We were promised this meadow, but even when we took back some of the finest clover to prove the promise, many wouldn’t believe us.
‘Well, maybe this will convince them then, the little mäh said, ‘since they live by the seeing-is-believing-lie. Now they have read the story, the story about the story, in the book of truth, with a real picture of a real drawing.’
And if you want, I can help you with that instamäh account..
Ben has heard there was this book, full of truth. He was a bit sceptic about it, because who says it is so? The author? The readers? Or the words itself perhaps? The publisher? He knew this book was also the perhaps most misquoted books of all times. It’s probably also a book that although people quote from it, they haven’t read it to the end. Like they just opened a cookbook, to see how much water you add to flour, not knowing the difference between shortcrust pastry or shortbread crust. Sheep knew that when you take things out of context, you can make words say something else. If you translate words, they can change meaning all of a sudden. Utter them in a different culture, and you get confusion. So how was this truth the truth then, if within one minute he could think of ways it could be distorted..
He had heard someone say that you have to count it as joy when you experience trials. That was kind of crude! Why is poverty a joyous event? How could you feel happy during persecution? But when Ben reread it, the text didn’t say that he should feel happy when trials come, that would be an absurd command. It was more like a checkbook account command, to see hardships as deposits and not withdrawals of our life.
Ben knew some hardship. He almost wanted to enter it into the dictionary with a new word: hardsheeps. But Ben also knew that even though he did not always have control over his circumstances, he did have control about how to think about them. He could still feel sorrow or anger over them, but eventually he was to tally it under joy.
Ben was bad at drawing. He was good in a lot of things, but drawing wasn’t one of them. And he even thought of looking up that in the book of truth, if there was any command that said: ‘thou shalt draw perfectly.’ Luckily there wasn’t such verse to be found, as a matter of fact, he read more about having relationsheeps with others than trying to be perfect by yourself.
He thought how he could picture the mind shift in facing hardsheeps, because if your own view of something isn’t the truth, but the something is, then he had to change its view to the something.
He could still not bleat in the streets after being soaked in mud after a storm, not dance around when he would notice the little ewes painted the whole living room fence with red dye, still not go out for a lush clover dinner after he had been wrongly accused for jumping in a river, still not burst out in sheepish laughter after a broken heart, no, nothing of the sort.
But, he knew there would be trials, for everysheep, they are numerous, they are continuous, and good can come from them, so they even are desirous, because, so sheep read, they make us stronger, they develop character.
So another sheep may be utterly shocked by what is happening, but he will just see the outsides of it. It doesn’t mean though that you deliberately go looking for storms or deserts (desserts is another topic, when you start adding s to stuff, you’re up for a treat). From the outside yes it looks like you get hit on the head a lot. But maybe the question you should ask yourself is whether you are looking for excitement or for happiness.. two totally different things..
Because what if you change perspective and not see things from your emotion (or head ache in this example) and see the bigger picture? Then you won’t see the trials as inconveniences and beg that it would stop, but you’d see that it only drives you deeper into the wood. So you are being used even for a bigger purpose and something that is ultimately good.
If you weren’t a sheep but a nail, wouldn’t the perfect world be that you had a hammer around you, and someone who uses that hammer perfectly, knows what he is doing, and who would make sure you were firmly positioned into place? Or would you rather have been untouched, unused, boxed up together with your 23 friends (because for this story nail boxes consist of 24 pieces), so just boxed up, lid closed, in the back of a store, never sold, never reaching the full potential? The hammer would still be used probably, using other nails, to hang up this beautiful painting for the world to see.
So, sheep decided to believe the truth that he was to consider his trials a pure joy because in enduring them he would become steadfast. And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Does knowledge bring you joy? Think about it. Knowing about sheep.. does it bring you joy? I mean truly? I mean really? I mean fully? I mean lastly? Or does it bring joy to actually experience the presence of sheep? Of me, that is?
I mean, tell me, how satisfying today was your yesterdays’ supper? We only have the memory of that pleasure, but the pleasure itself is gone, right? Pleasure can’t be accumulated to produce everlasting satisfaction. It’s momentary at best, and causes guilt and shame at worst. I tell you, fellow sheep, stop trying to know. Start to experience. Experience the presence of me. Otherwise life will be a building not built of bricks, but of why and why be. And if you walk around that bricked corner, you eventually will start lengthening that question, making it why be, if everything that is going to happen to you is that you will cease to be?
It was another sheep. It appeared dead. Or asleep. Or just not alive.
Should Sheebo try CPR? But in sheepology, what would this abbreviation stand for? Humans are no sheep. Nor the other way around. So we had a three word gap in our experience. What would CPR stand for? Would it give off the impression of a calming powerful rejuvination? Or would be a comforting pleasurable refreshing? Would it give close protective respect? Or cheerful positive relief? Was it caring peaceful rosiness? Hmm.. rosiness.. Rosa?
Sheebo knew how to get sheep up and about. This is not true for all sheep, though, only when your name is Sheebo, and only if you happen to know CPR. Or at least the meaning of it, because knowing words will get you nowhere if you don’t know how to use them. Or where. The first thing you do, is to get them up, grab ’em by the ears.
Then you grab sheep by the paws.
Then you try get sheep more upright by squeezing her between your own hoofs.
Then if the head is still a bit wobbly, you grab that.
And.. you’re good! You got sheep restored! If you are lucky, sheep will start talking soon. You can prompt this a bit further by asking weird questions, like
1 what is your unjust disadvantage?
2 will you plan to replace passive self-pity with active courage?
3 do you agree that a compulsive gambler is not focused on winning, but on playing?
4 if you know there was a promise, where do you go for the delivery?
These questions will scramble the brain and usually will lead to some noise. Usually it’s a variation of the mah-sound. From there you can take it up a notch.
What you can do then, is let sheep find a sheep for herself.
She will look at it and marvel. You can see she’s not ready to o CPR yet.
But if you help her, in the same loving way she hovers over this sheep..