Once up on a time, there was nothing.
This was a long time ago, before there were words like “long time ago” or “boring.”
Then came a word. From the nothing, suddenly there was an I. This I, all by itself, didn’t amount to much. It didn’t even know it was a vowel, let alone a letter than you learn to write in school. So, deciding that being an I wasn’t enough on it’s own merit, the I decided to become I Am.
Yes, thought the I Am, which used to be an I, this feels much better. In fact, this was the first feeling it had even known. It was an I Am, and that was far more satisfying than being simply an I.
Being an I Am was plenty for many, many long years (which hadn’t even been been invented yet). The I Am was pleased, basking in its Am-ness, enjoying the Am that it was. It did this until it wasn’t plenty anymore, when the I Am decided that it wanted something to play with.
“Yes,” thought the I Am, “I would sure enjoy some company.”
So the I Am set about all of its Am-ness and made some Bes (pronounced like “bees,” which also hadn’t been invented yet).
The Bes that the I Am created were also, of course, I Ams, since the I Am could only create things it already knew. Seeing as it only knew itself, an I Am, it could only create Bes, which, of course, were smaller versions of I Am. The Bes were quite lovely and playful, and they absolutely enjoyed Being. They would dance and sing and draw pictures in the air of I Am all day long. It was a joyous time to Be a Be, and this made I Am quite happy with his creations. He watched them Being all day long, never growing tired of their antics. If he’d had hands, they’d have clapped with delight at all the wonderful things the Bes did for his amusement.
Before long, though, the Bes became restless. They were feeling a yearning they couldn’t quite put their fingers on (I Am had, of course, long ago given them hands and fingers so they could dance and draw pictures in the air for his amusement). I Am noticed the Bes becoming quite irritable with this newfound restlessness, and set about doing something about it. It loved the Bes very, very much, and wanted nothing more for them to be happy. You see, when they were happy, they sang and danced and drew pictures in the air for I Am’s amusement. I Am loved Being amused almost as much as it loved the Bes.
So I Am created rocks for the Bes to play with.
The Bes rejoiced as only Bes can, and danced and sang like never before to thank I Am for its gift. They danced around the rocks, they sang songs about the rocks, they built large piles of rocks to climb and play on. It was a great time to Be a Be. They discovered that if they stacked the rocks just right, it would block the wind to keep them warm so they could dance and sing into the night without getting chilly. They discovered that when they banged rocks together, they made wonderful banging noises to accompany their singing. The songs and dances the Bes did for I Am got longer and longer and louder and louder.
I Am loved the new songs.
It wasn’t too long, though, before, Bes Being Bes, that restlessness arose again and the Bes began to feel bored. They had been singing and dancing about I Am for so long that they longed to do something else. I Am was saddened by this development, but loved the Bes so much that it decided to let them figure out what would satisfy their restlessness on their own. I Am remembered what it had been like to simply be an I, before it was an I Am. That was a lonely time. I Am also understood that his little Beings were feeling that same way. They were discovering the inner I Am-ness that it had given them so long ago.
One of the Bes, longing for something more, picked up a rock and threw it as far as she could in frustration. Another Be saw her do this and clapped his hands with delight! He squealed with joy as he ran over to the rock, picked it up and threw it back to her. She was confused by what he had done, but saw his smile and realized she had done something that made him happy. This, in turn, made her happy inside. So she, again, picked up the rock and threw it as far as she could, this time in his direction.
The other Be jumped up and down with glee before running over to the rock and throwing it back to her. They did this for hours, much to the amusement of I Am and all the other Bes that watched their new game. Soon, other Bes joined in the fun, picking up their own rocks and throwing them to and fro. So much fun was being had, with rocks flying overhead in every which direction. Before long, all of the Bes had stopped singing and dancing and drawing pictures in the air in order to join in the rock throwing fun. The songs about I Am were replaced with loud laughter and screams of excitement from the Bes, who were all quite impressed with their new game and their own ingenuity.
I Am smiled and watched them play.
With so many rocks flying through the air, it was only a matter of time before something unexpected happened. Of course, it could’ve been expected that this unexpected event would be someone getting hit with a rock. Anyone expecting that unexpected outcome would’ve gotten what they expected. It wasn’t long before one Be threw a rock that hit another Be squarely in the head. He howled in pain and held his head in his hands. This quite frightened the other Bes, and they all began to wail in fear and with great feelings of sorrow for the Hurting Be who had been struck by the flying rock.
All the Bes except one, that is. This singular Be saw the calamity, but remained calm. She realized that the best thing to be done was to help ease the pain of the poor Hurting Be. She ran right over to him and planted a loving kiss right on the spot where he had been hit by the rock. Immediately, the Hurting Be stopped crying and flailing about. He ceased Hurting as he looked at the Kissing Be with love and gratitude. These new feelings were quite confusing, quite real and utterly overwhelming. He decided that he wanted more of them, and would therefore follow the Kissing Be around everywhere she went forever and ever. He was no longer the Hurting Be. He had been transformed into the Thankful Be. He never wanted to feel hurt or pain ever again, and only ever wanted to feel the way her kiss had made him feel.
Of course, other Bes saw this happen and decided the same thing. They would devote themselves to following the Kissing Be around for the rest of her days. They all wanted what she had given the Hurting Be that turned him into the Thankful Be. This, of course, scared the Kissing Be immensely and she ran off as quickly as her legs would carry her (I Am had also given the Bes legs to better dance with). The Thankful Be followed earnestly, but was never quite fast enough to catch her.
As they disappeared into the distance, all of the remaining Bes looked at one another, confused. They realized that Being a Be was no longer enough for them. Each Be now felt a longing to Be a Something Else Be. It was all quite unsettling.
Not knowing quite what to do, the Bes scattered and began trying to fill their need to Be a Something Else Be.
One became a Counting Be. He counted all of the rocks. He counted all of the Bes. He counted all of the clouds in the sky and the grains of sand on the ground. He then counted all of grains of sand that touched another grain of sand, each cloud that produced rain, each rock that was thrown by each Be in turn. The numbers overlapped and multiplied until the Counting Be had to devote himself to simply counting the numbers he had created. Then he began counting the numbers of numbers he had counted and so on. He was quite pleased with all of his counting and took every opportunity to try to convince the other Bes that his countings were of the upmost importance. Some Bes agreed that counting was what they were meant to do, and so they joined him in counting and making sure that no other Be could do without their numbers.
One Be became a Rules Be. She came up with all sorts of rules for the other Bes to live by. She made rules about when they should go to sleep, when they should count, when they should throw rocks, when they should dance and when they should do none of these things. She would roundly scold any Be that did not follow her rules to a tee. Some Bes enjoyed this scolding and her rules. They joined in her fun and set about making up new rules to scold other Bes for not following. This did not go over well when they set in place a rule against doing what another Be had decided to become, but rules were rules and scoldings were handed out all the same.
One Be decided he would be a Word Be. He came up with new words for all of the things the other Bes were being. Pretty soon there were far too many different types of Bes for him to remember all of his words, so he became a Writing Be. He wrote down all of the names of the different Bes and even came up with a bunch of new words to describe what they did. He became the inventor of words like “long time ago,” “boring,” and, eventually, “love,” “Be” and “I Am.”
The Writing Be was extremely happy with all of his words and descriptions. He would write them and write them and write them some more. One day, the Counting Be was walking by and noticed how many words the Writing Be had created.
All of these words and no numbers for them? How could this stand? It could not, the Counting Be decided. He then set about telling the Writing Be all about his numbers and how he simply could and should not be writing without counting his words with them. The Writing Be wanted only to do his writing and none of this counting business! He set himself to telling the Counting Be where he could put his numbers and countings when up walked the Rules Be. She noticed the look of frustration on the faces of both Bes and decided that there needed to be a rule about such matters.
She let the Counting and Writing Bes know that for each write written, there would be at least one count counted. If this counting did not occur, then there would be scoldings delivered, which, of course, would also need to be counted and written about lest there be more scoldings handed out (which would then also require countings and writings). The Counting Be did not enjoy being told when and what to count, and began to argue with the Rules Be when up walked the Shushing Be. The Shushing Be shushed them both with as much authority as he could muster with a shush. Before long, up walked the Crying Be, who was quite upset by all the noise and kerfuffle. She began doing what Crying Bes did, which was wailing at the top of her lungs and sobbing at how unfair the entire situation was. This, of course, attracted the attention of the Consoling Be, who did her very best to make the Crying Be feel better about the activities of all the other Bes.
Soon, a great many other Bes with a great many other purposes for Being joined the confusing chorus and the noise became unlike anything any Be had ever heard before. It overwhelmed their senses of Being until in a panic, they all froze. Not a Be made a sound or a whimper. They’d all lost their sense of purpose amidst the shouting, crying, shushing, scolding, counting, writing and consoling. Utterly confused, they stood silent, staring at one another wondering what to do next.
It was then that the Question Be remembered who she was. She spoke to herself as much to all of the other Bes when she said simply “Who are you? What are you doing?”
None of the Bes could answer these simple questions, for they had all lost their knowing and their purpose. Even the Talking Be was at a loss for what to say.
Finally, one of them spoke, breaking the silence. It wasn’t the Scholar Be or the Pastor Be or even the Leader Be that spoke. It was The Simple Be that opened his mouth to answer the Question Be’s queries.
“I Am…” he said, unsure what to say next.
He paused for a moment, then said with a confidence and presence until now not heard among the shouts and din “I Am Being.”
There was a small murmur from all of the other Bes as they thought about what the Simple Be had said. Some looked at the ground, some shuffled their feet, some others looked at their brothers and sisters for answers. One by one, they all nodded and said quietly to themselves “I Am Being.”
Once they were all in agreement about this simple answer, the Singing and Dancing Bes remembered who they were and began to do what they were meant to do. They sang and they danced until all of the other Bes decided to follow suit, chanting “I Am Being.” over and over as they did.
I Am looked down and smiled. Oh, how its children had grown and how wonderful was their singing and dancing. He drew pictures in the air of his children and was love.