A Thousand-Mile Journey

A stone sculpture of Lao Tzu, located north of Quanzhou at the foot of Mount Qingyuan in East China. Thanks to Creative Commons for use of this photo. The statue is about 1,000 years old.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Lauzi

aka

Lau Tzu

This simple teaching tells us any endeavor, adventure, plan or fulfillment of a dream, begins with a first step.

The saying is from Chapter 4 of the Tao Te Ching, a Chinese philosophical and religious text said to be written by 6th Century BC philosopher Lauzi, whom we identify today as the Lau Tzu.

A contemporary of Confucius, arguably the most famous of Eastern philosophers and widely regarded as the greatest wise man, it is said Lau Tzu and Confucius met several times. Lau Tzu was the elder.

We dream of doing great things but don’t commit to action because of risk, embarrassment or potential failure, so we continue to live our lives in a state of what could have beenism.

Take that first step, and suddenly, potentially, the dream becomes reality, the plan is realized, the problem solved.

Or not.

Sometimes we fail, and then we must learn to take the next first step on a new path.

David Madrid

Depiction of Lauzi, known popularly as Lau Tzu, in E. T. C. Werner’s “Myths and Legends of China.” LauTzu is said to be a 6th century BC philosopher. It is said he authored the Tao Te Ching, the foundation of Taoism.

David Madrid.

© 2024 FabulousFables.com

Contact: David Madrid

Fruit Fly Kamikaze Attack

I cracked my favorite cup

Fending off a kamikaze fruit fly attack

The fly zoomed for my eye

I flung my water at the fly; massive sigh

My cup hit the wall; the water missed the fly

Who paused on my cheek, then turned and leaped

My cup, now will forever weep

And the fruit fly flew away

To attack another day

That is my story; yes it is true

Beware the kamikaze; it’s coming for you

David Madrid.

© 2024 FabulousFables.com

Contact: David Madrid

Superior People

‘Each man is my superior in that I may learn from him.’

I am paraphrasing Ralph Waldo Emerson, great American philosopher and poet, who actually said, “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.”

I shortened the quote long ago just for myself to better remember it and its lesson.

If you are open to consider each person can teach you something, you are open to accept their humanity.

This way of thinking will check your ego, especially if you consider yourself all that.

This belief, put in practice, will make you feel better about people, and eventually, yourself.

Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803 and died April 27, 1882.

© 2024 FabulousFables.com

Contact: David Madrid

My Shirt

There hangs in my closet a shirt so old, a thriving Aztec civilization was playing ball on its courts when the shirt was made.

That’s an old shirt.

It is said the shirt was made at the peak of the Mexica — which is what the Aztecs called themselves — civilization in 1520.

That is 503 years ago.

  • 183,595 days ago.
  • 4,406,280 hours ago.
  • 264,376,800 minutes ago.
  • 1.58 billion seconds ago.

More or less.

How time flies when you’re counting nanoseconds. I won’t go there.

Mathematics

I broke down the numbers so you understand how the Aztecs saw the world.

To the Mexica the universe is made of numbers, and math moves the numerals into equations that transform into matter and then action.

Everything — birth, life, death, the seasons with planting and harvests based on astronomy, architecture, human sacrifice and even love — in the end it is all encompassed in mathematics.

The Shirt

How is it possible that I own such a shirt?

The shirt is magic; it finds its host.

It found me in the Arizona desert where an old man lived in a small adobe home near the Sierra Estrella southwest of Phoenix.

The man, who looked as old as he claimed the shirt was, said the shirt brought me to him, and this article of clothing belonged to me now.

You probably think I’m a little loose in the head, and I understand.

Origins

This shirt, I won’t call it mine, because I feel I am his’ or hers’ or its’, whatever the heck it is?

This piece of clothing was made from reed fibers that grew on the shores of Lake Texcoco near the seat of power when the Aztecs were ascendent.

Strong fibers, reduced to smaller fibers of a specific number and braided, produced the strongest cloth ever made; then the shirt was infused with a brujo’s sorcery.

Brujos

Brujos are male witches –call them warlocks, witchdoctors, whatever — who know the secrets of plants. They are properly called yerbedos, herbal healers.

They also know the secrets of the desert and its snakes and their venoms; so watch out.

Brujas are their female counterparts, and in Mexico, South America and the Southwestern United States, these witches still exist and are justifiably feared.

Fibers

I don’t know how many fibers are needed to make this cloth; that is a lost science from another time, but some say it was in the billions, as absurd as that sounds.

The shirt is indestructible, and that’s some wicked magic, my friends.

The shirt doesn’t age, and it boasts a replica of the Sun Stone, a priceless Aztec calendar the Spanish buried because they considered it pagan.

It was rediscovered in Mexico City, Dec. 17, 1790.

My shirt is as old as the calendar, and its image, round and complex, is sewed into the cloth.

The original calendar was full of color, adding another dimension to the beauty and magic of the stone, but as the color faded on the stone, so it faded on the shirt.

Calendar

My calendar tingles as I feel the rotation of the Earth and its relation to the cosmos and time, upon my chest.

I don’t understand the arithmetic, but this is it in a nutshell:

1The calendar consists of a 365-day calendar cycle called xiuhpōhualli (year count), and a 260-day ritual cycle called tōnalpōhualli (day count).

It’s two calendars in one.

I see the numbers the Mexica saw only when I wear the shirt, which I do sparingly, because it takes a physical toll when you are overwhelmed by an ocean of numerals.

I do not know what the numbers mean, but I feel them in my soul, and sometimes, with much effort, I can see the numbers as a whole.

I am fascinated to see our universe from the Aztec perspective, numbers never looked so beautiful.

This is my shirt below; you are looking at an eternally enchanted artifact.

The Aztec “Calendar Stone”. Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City. With permission of Wikimedia Commons

The Sun Stone presides over the Mexica Hall of the National Museum of Anthropology. The stone is 12 feet in diameter, 39 inches thick and 54,210 pounds.

© 2024 FabulousFables.com

Email: David Madrid

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_calendar ↩︎

Happy New Year and Goodbye Old Year

Here we are sliding into 2024 and out of 2023.

We’ve come out of a crazy, sloppy year, 2023.

In 2023, so many things happened.

Untidy things.

I mean, someone reported a dead dog to the authorities, but it turned out the dead dog was actually a hotdog. She — it was a woman who called 911 — thought she was ordering a hotdog at the local wiener shop; the operator heard “dead dog.”

Weird stuff like that is what I mean about 2023.

Did you know there is a worm called The Rascal that is bred to rebel. That worm doesn’t listen to anyone. He is truly a rebel without a cause.

We found that out in 2023.

Yep. Weird crazy things happened.

We discovered in 2023 an invisible gland in the human body that can be activated by poetry. Yep, discovered in 2023, according to my notes, a poet gland.

All you have to do is recite two lines of a favorite poem, and then kill a chicken and sprinkle yourself with its blood.

After that, the poems come to you, and finally, you are a poet.

I found a bloody chicken on the Internet, printed the photo.

Then I cut the blood drops from the photo, and I recited a couple of lines of a favorite poem, then sprinkled myself with the paper chicken blood to see if I could prompt the invisible gland to open.

I was intrigued, so I began:

“I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and sky.

“And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.”

It is a sea-faring poem.

Definitely gland worthy.

Nothing happened.

Nothing.

I shivered; was that the gland I felt, or did I have to pee?

I didn’t know.

I guess now I’ll have a find a real chicken.

I’m joking about the birds.

Kids, leave those chickens alone

What a long, strange year it’s been.

I know you want me to cite my sources, because 2023 was nuts, and who knows what the truth is?

My source is the Internet, and that’s why I know the discoveries are real.

The stories are on the Internet, they have to be real.

Right?

Right?

Here it is, a favorite poem, in case you are curious.

Sea Fever

John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

 And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking,
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; 

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

Contact: David Madrid

Rastas Boodrow, cool kid

There are Christmas stories, and then there are Christmas stories.

How do you tell them apart?

A true Christmas story hugs your heart, and you recognize its truth.

The story sinks into your soul.

The truth reveals itself.

I give you a Christmas story that will touch your soul.

Read: Rastas Boodrow: A Christmas Story

Not your typical Christmas story.

© 2023 FabulousFables.com

Contact: David Madrid

Read “Rastas Boodrow: Mathematical Mastermind“, a blog in which you learn more about a little boy genius.

Rufus the Warrior Reindeer 2023

In the first book of the Rufus the Snot-Nosed Reindeer duology, we find the warrior reindeer preparing to wrestle his famous red-nosed cousin Rudy,

The sequel begins like this:

       The day of reckoning had finally arrived. It was time Rufus the Snot-Nosed Reindeer was taught a lesson and removed as head of the herd.

        Since he took over the Reindeer Corps, slovenliness had set in, and a certain red-nosed reindeer was going to put a stop to that.

        All Rudy needed to do was defeat his smug cousin Rufus in a wrestling match. Rufus was actually a  humble reindeer, except when it came to wrestling.

To read this story, go to “Rufus the Snot-Nosed Reindeer: The Reckoning.”

The End

© 2010 FabulousFables.com

Email: David Madrid

Illustrations by Vincent Rogers

Also read Rufus the Snot-Nosed Reindeer

It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas 2023

It’s that time of year when people put up lights on their homes; they sing Christmas carols, dream of Santa Claus and drink Eggnog.

It is also time to reintroduce Christmas stories from FabulousFables.com.

First is “Rufus the Snot-Nosed Reindeer,” written in 2009.

Read about the warrior reindeer who lived to wrestle, who had no fear.

He also helped save Christmas once, but never got the worldwide credit he deserved.

Rufus didn’t care; bring on his next opponent was all the fierce reindeer wanted.

Read: “Rufus the Snot-Nosed Reindeer

© 2023 FabulousFables.com

Email: David Madrid

Thanksgiving 2023

Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks for our many blessings.

Be thankful you are alive, for life is the most precious of gifts.

Sometimes it may seem unfortunate to be alive, but put those misgivings aside this holiday and thank someone who deserves your gratitude.

The thing about thankfulness is it can release the self doubt within you and make the soul cleaner somehow.

I am not going to lecture you about giving thanks, which you can do face-to-face or by simply acknowledging it in your heart.

This blog is to reintroduce you to a Thanksgiving story: Gilbert the Dancing Hummingbird.

It is a different kind of Thanksgiving story.

Read it here: Gilbert the Dancing Hummingbird

© 2023 FabulousFables.com

Email: David Madrid

The Spider and the Fly

Mary Howitt, (1799–1888) published The Spider and the Fly in 1829. It is a cautionary tale about the use of flattery and charm to mask evil and unsavory intentions. Although written so long ago, the poem is as relevant today as the day it was written. That is why I have included the poem here in FabulousFables.com. The poem’s lesson is timeless.

Moral: Beware the honey-tongued charlatan.

Read “The Spider and the Fly.”

© 2023 FabulousFables.com

Email: David Madrid