Part II of III
Part I here


It is a simple tune on the Egg planet. You could hum a few verses yourself, give it a try! Some person would go on a trip and—you are right—they got there safely. Another person would find piles of money and food—right again—they shared it with every person they'd ever known. And after a while you'd stop humming, because you'd see one of us yawn. The Egg planet never strays very far from greatness. How remarkable can each new triumph feel? It is a tune too simple and too beautiful, at least for our ears.

So let's visit a neighboring planet. A planet a lot more surprising, and so a lot more similar, to how we do things. What are we doing on this planet? That's what James wonders too. James is 50 years old, an antique by our standards. But antiques belong to a place, and even though James has lived here his whole life, he doesn't always feel at home. "I could be anyplace, or no place, and no one might notice." sighs James, whether or not it's true. On his best days James feels he is beautiful. On the best of those best days, his own beauty makes him praise the one who made him.

"Oh, so he believes that," we think to ourselves. And then we nod, because beauty can feel a lot more important when you think a creator made it that way. But before we think we're hearing a story about the divine and things behind clouds, here is James.

"Did he just leave?" we ask. "No one is sitting there."

But James is not gone or emptiness itself, James is a chair. He is an exquisitely crafted piece of furniture in a room of couches and settees and rockers. This is his life, his planet. His joys are his good friends and open windows and being a support, his sorrows are occasional loneliness and getting rickety with age. "If I could only see you, I would know how to be!" He implores the being he doesn't remember, who he calls God, who we would call a carpenter. And would he feel closer, to meet again the square-ish hands and rough knuckles that gave him life? The hands that not only made him, but made houses and porches and tiny wooden boxes for storing necklaces and safety pins? Or is he better off as he is, sitting so still and straight in the fluttering sun spots, imagining his creator as an enormous throne? It's a world apart from us, a planet apart, but then not so very far, maybe not even a melody away.


to be continued