He rakes the gravel. The parallel lines reflect the serenity of his thoughts. The curving patterns they form are simple and elegant, like the Master’s sermon this morning. He did not remember the exact words, but he feels the truth of them. They flow in his blood, cleansing and healing him.

How unhappy he had been before the coming of the Master. So much pressure and so many expectations—too great for a weak creature such as himself. The Master, in his kindness and infinite compassion, took the burden of leadership from him and showed him a new way to think, to be. The Master taught his unruly mind what it meant to be free; unattached to suffering, desire, responsibility.

Now he had only to rake the gravel and feel the peace of the order he creates. Once upon a time he had power, he had influence. All women wanted him, all men wanted to be him and he thought he had everything figured out. He surrounded himself with people who believed everything he said. He was worshiped as a prophet, the Voice of God and they kissed the hem of his robe, begging to give him everything they had—their money, their bodies, their very souls.

But it was too much. The Master revealed to him the error of his ways; how he had lost himself in the welter of power and possession. The Master took it away, giving him the rake and the soothing whisper of the gravel in return. A tear trickles down his cheek at the magnitude of such generosity.

Blessed, blessed Master.

Someone crunches upon the gravel. Footsteps destroy the careful swirls and ripples. His mind screams at such desecration. He whirls around, bringing the handle of the rake crashing against the head of the defiler.

He stands over the body, wondering why the Master looks so surprised—his mouth open, eyes unblinking. He digs a trough to place the Master in, smoothing and furrowing the gravel again and again, until there is no trace of any disturbance.

He rakes the gravel. His mind is calm—washed clean of all that is not pure and perfectly parallel.


Editor’s Corner


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