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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


March 24th, 2019

Lucilius was wrapping up a day of work with a friend.  The two had begun to develop a project several months prior and had formed a good habit of meeting up and working.  As his friend sat in final concentration, solving and executing one final task for the day, Lucilius was lost in thought, reminiscing about the process they’d gone through over those months.


The whole thing had developed from the casual chaos of conversation – the good grist of friendship - and eventually found its way onto a white board, where they tossed around ideas and directions, details and possibilities to which they might pivot.  What good living it was then and now, in that cacophony and mess of ideas, each brightening to the ideas of the other, pinning some, tossing many, and slowly pulling an order from the disarray.  And then as they narrowed in and began to actually build their project, their focus sought out and zeroed each little problem, as Lucilius’ friend now did one final time before they called it a day.


“Got it,” Lucilius’ friend declared with a bright smile.  Lucilius looked over the work, seeing the tiny issue of the project solved and smiled. 


“Nice, I think we can call it a day.”


Lucilius’ friend checked the time.  “Absolutely, and -”  He looked at Lucilius “You want to come over for dinner with the family?”


“That’d be great.”




When the door opened, the shrieks of children pierced the air and Lucilius could hear a mother fretting over some new debacle of childish chaos.  Lucilius watched the bright spirit of his friend drop a little as they entered.


“What now,” he mumbled.


The children filled the home with a cacophony of screams and yells, the mother trying to herd their disarrayed emotions into some kind of order while managing a kitchen in full operation.


The woman smiled at the sight of them, took a lingering moment to greet Lucilius and then looking at her husband, her expression flipped to exasperation.


“Can you look after the kids while I finish up dinner?”


Lucilius’ friend could barely hold his eyes from rolling.  “I brought company.”


The woman’s shoulders slumped a little further, but before she could muster a counter-argument, Lucilius interjected.


“I’ll hang out with the kids.  You two get settled.”


The woman looked instantly relieved, but her eyes grew wide as her husband protested.


“Oh no, you don’t have to do that.”


“Honestly, it’ll be fun, you two catch up.”


The mother introduced Lucilius to the kids, who grew shy in their introductions, their inner spirits bubbling at the social constraint.  And then Lucilius went down the rabbit hole of their game world, entertaining their ideas as they tossed them out, realizing he could give them more agency, lifting one on his shoulders so they could be Godzilla for a few minutes, then being their wings when they both wanted to fly, holding each round the middle and zooming them round the room.  From their huge amount of energy, he slowly unraveled the narrative of their imagination.  And when dinner came time, the tired hungry children ate and sleepy with full bellies went quickly and quietly through their nightly routine, leaving the adults plenty of time to enjoy one another’s company.

Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

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Podcast Ep. 343: A Lucilius Parable: Arbitrary Domain Preference

Tinkered Thinking

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