Intro: Pounding bass note and a stirring fanfare of horns. Welcome to another edition of Things to Think about. Here's Stacy. The horns continue with a keyboard note held.
Relaxing piano music is in the background.
Welcome to the Things to Think About podcast, where we use fables and fairy tales to uncover deeper truths about our subconscious world. I had intended to not pick up my phone until after breakfast, but the alarm rang, and I had to turn it off. I wanted today to be different, so I set time boundaries. We will explore our relationship to time in a tale I call “Go.” And now, get comfortable and relax. Take a deep breath in. And exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. And if you'd like, you can slowly close your eyes.
Once upon a time, there was an ostrich experiencing ennui. It lived on a farm and was bored by the daily routine. It was nice to have regular feedings, but the ostrich did not have much to look forward to. The farmer was nice, and they had a good amount of land to roam, but the ostrich knew every nook and cranny. It would soon be its turn to watch the eggs. The ostrich wanted a different life for its chicks and itself. At least this farmer only took their feathers when they molted. The ostrich had heard horror stories of other birds being plucked while alive or slaughtered for their feathers. The farmer also harvested their eggs but did allow them to have chicks on a strictly regimented schedule.
“Are you scared?” taunted one of the tourists. The ostrich ignored them. Let them think what they will. The ostrich continued to carefully turn the eggs it had buried and then settled down, pretending to hide. It was counting the days until it was free. The farm was on the outskirts of the savannah, and at night the wild ostriches would tempt them with tales of the wide open plains. Most of the flock preferred the safety of the farm. The stories of wild dogs, lions, hyenas, and jackals kept them timid and compliant. Our ostrich wanted to feel alive. Life on the farm was predictable, and the ostrich would secretly pluck a feather every now and then for the rush. Instead of aimlessly wandering the farm and socializing endlessly with the rest of the flock, the ostrich had set goals.
“It’s too hot to do sprints” the ostrich complained. Somebody has to watch the eggs. Its legs were sore, and it was cranky from hunger. The ostrich was trying to see if it could survive off the farmland instead of the regular feedings from the farmer. There were plenty of plants and insects, but they were not as filling as the farm feed. It was hard work to stay alive, and the ostrich was worried that it would not cut it in the wild. The wild ostriches seemed larger than life to their tame counterparts on the farm. “Do you really want to be free?” it questioned itself. “Okay, okay, once the farmer finishes the rounds, we will do our sprints. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, to the fence and back.” The ostrich counted in its head, and when it returned to the next stop, it was pleased to have shaven off thirty counts from yesterday’s sprints.
The farm was by no means paradise. Every now and then, the ostrich would notice that members of the flock would go missing. There were whispers of the culling, and strange loud mechanical hornless rhinos would lumber in and out of the farm. The chicks knew how to find their own food, and the ostrich had them practice sprints and kicking. Whenever it wavered and thought that perhaps the regular feedings and comfortable home were enough, it thought about the missing birds and those ominous mechanical beasts. They were running out of time. It could hear the rumbling from afar. The farmer would open the gates soon. The ostrich imagined running free with the wild flock. Yes, there would be dangers, but they would be alive. “Get ready,” it said to its family. The gate began to open. “Steady, steady, okay, now Go!”
I do not know if the ostriches escaped or how they fared in the wild, but we often want to stay on the farm. Are you biding your time or focused on a vision? And now, take a deep breath in, and exhale. Deep breath in, and exhale. Deep breath in, and exhale. And when you are ready, wiggle your toes, wiggle your fingers, and slowly open your eyes.
Closing: Closing jazzy keyboard and thrumming bass. I hope you enjoyed today's segment. Tell a friend. See you next time. Music fades.