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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


September 27th, 2020

Lucilius sat down, after a long and tremendously interesting life, to finally, and definitively write his autobiography.  Of course there was the issue of where to start - always problematic, because where does a story start?  Where does a life start?  Is it with birth, or do the seeds of one’s own story go far beyond that, beyond memory and experience.  Lucilius pondered these issues, holding the end of the pen to his lips in consideration, tapping the fingers of his free hand in nervous anticipation of the first words.


As he sat with a rising anxiety, staring at the blank page, a rusty memory brushed itself off and offered itself up.  Lucilius’ eyes grew glassy at the old sight of the unseeable time.  The memory set his mind off on a race, threading through his many unmeasurable adventures - his long life spanning across such a thick measure of time.  Eventually a smile grew on his face and he leaned in over the blank page and pressed the pen to paper.


He wrote: when Lucilius was a very young boy, he sat down to pen his autobiography.  Having a plump and worthy biography seemed like one of the most worthy goals he could think of, and having decided upon it, he figured he might as well do it himself.  But, as the young boy sat with pen poised to record his grand adventures, a problem arose in his mind.  Though he’d lived an excellent boy’s life, weaving himself into all sorts of trouble and fun, he could not find a place to start the grand record of his adventures.  But even more importantly, while reflecting on the little he did have on hand to record, he realized that he wasn’t entirely satisfied with the thoughts and deeds he had to put down.  No, there was far more to be had, to be done.  The marrow of life was far from had, the bones had not even been cracked, indeed, he thought - even as such a youngster - that the hunt had barely begun.  Young Lucilius looked again at the blank page and felt and immense dissatisfaction, but with it, a hope, or more a verve to grab at a goal that would not come with mere hope nor want, but only by dint of long effort and pain, thirst and a desire to hunt.


Young Lucilius stood up and decided to abandon the effort.  There was no need to write down his life when there was so much life to live.


Lucilius stared at the sentence he’d just written.  He read the sentence over and over, and slowly the notion of it’s meaning sunk in.  He leaned back in his seat and stared off in middle distance.  He wasn’t dead yet, he noticed.


Lucilius got up from the barely marked page of paper.  He turned and left.  There was still more life to live.

Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

Dive in to the Archives

Podcast Ep. 896: A Lucilius Parable: A Life to Live

Tinkered Thinking

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