Fortune’s Fool

By Jon Hillenbrand In Photography, Stories

Maybe it was the lateness of the hour, but at the end of the work day today, the cleaning woman showed up and started speaking with such prophetic wisdom that I found myself listening intently to every sentence in her half-Haitian-half-English tongue.  She’s just like an oracle in the old Greek style.  She almost never shows up when you expect her, she’s so hard to understand that you almost pull a muscle listening and much of what she has to say is so simple as to be categorized as brilliant fact.  She’s in her late sixties and has lived a life of children and countries.  And in the opposite of the spirit of most youth, I listen to her in the hopes of some guidance that will decrypt the life I have expertly woven through the Enigma machine.  She said something like, “You work very hard, end of day, you have money and then you got no thing, you die, they money to put you in ground.  Nobody care.  Forget you.”  What I think that means is that at the end of the day, after all of my time wasted or not at work, if I don’t have something to do besides work, all I’ll have done is lived the life of a nut in a greasy inefficient machine. 

Of course, advice is often Cassandra Truth entangling the blinders-bound with things as they are.  But there are sunsets to be enjoyed out there.  And in more honest moments, I know I will look back on my life and wish I had lain in the grass more.  There’s an audible silence brought on by the wind just after your mind goes quiet, like spreading cream across a cake.  Your eyes a firmament, unfocused sparks explode like flower petals revealing knowledge of little or great import, the fruit from the garden of plenty from which only the enlightened have supped, juice escaping from the sides of your mouth and over you a benediction.  Shall I deny that which waits out in the field?

What do you think?