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A LUCILIUS PARABLE: STEP ONE

April 7th, 2019

Lucilius sat staring at a blank screen, watching the cursor blink on and off, taunting him with a reminder of time passing.  Time unused, wasted and flitted away, as though with a pernicious cackle, escaping his ability to grasp quick that single resource and produce something for the assignment he had at hand.  He shut the computer and stood up just as his phone lit up with a message: did he have time to watch his godson for a while?

 

He wrote back and then readied to go out. He grabbed his keys and caught a glimpse of his computer.  He paused, hesitated, then grabbed the computer, placing it in a bag as he left.

 

 

He arrived as his young godson was waking from a nap and slowly comprehending that Lucilius was here and that his mother had to run some errands.  The boy perked up at the sound of Lucilius’ name and he ran to the godfather.  Lucilius picked up the delighted boy as the boy’s mother kissed her quick goodbyes and left. 

 

“What shall we do?” Lucilius asked.

 

“Legos!” the boy exclaimed.

 

“Alright, then let’s get to it.”

 

Lucilius let the boy down and followed him as he ran into a play room with scattered toys, toy-boxes and drawings affixed at funny angles low on the wall.  The boy dragged a duffle bag out from a corner and dumped a pile of Legos onto the floor.

 

“What shall we build?” Lucilius asked.

 

“I dunno.” the boy said as he picked up pieces and started clicking them together.

 

Lucilius watched for a few moments as the boy picked up random pieces and added them.  The boy tilted his head, looking at the creation and then exclaimed: Spaceship! He moved it through the air as though through deep space, and then stopped.

 

“It needs boosters.”

 

The two scoured the pile for matching pieces that could work as engines and together attached them to the growing starship.  They added a cockpit, and eventually a cargo hold and in no time the spaceship had doubled in size.  Lucilius fiddled with a detail, searching for a tiny matching piece as his godson zoomed the ship through the air.  Then the boy put the legoship down.

 

“I’m gonna draw now,” the boy decided.

 

“Ok,” Lucilius said, brushing pieces around, searching for a pair.  He looked up after moment once the boy had his giant pad of paper ready.  The boy went at the page with a colored pencil and Lucilius asked,

 

“Whatchya drawing?”

 

“I dunno, just drawing.”

 

Lucilius watched the boy’s drawing develop, forgetting his search for the small lego.  His godson hunted for a black colored pencil and then started scribbling between the orbs he’d drawn.

 

“What is it?”  Lucilius asked.

 

“It’s the planets where the spaceship is headed to explore.”

 

The two kept on long after the boy’s mother had returned and after dinner Lucilius finally went home.  There he sat on the couch, smiling at the day’s fun and then fished out his computer and flipped it open.  He didn’t notice the blank screen that met him, already he was too focused on the keys he was pressing.


Podcast Ep. 357: A Lucilius Parable: Step One

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Tinkered Thinking