By Kerwin Holmes, Jr.
I have been very busy the last couple of months. Very busy. As you may glean from what I write and the very few times that I mention my personal life right now, I do a lot outside of the net. In fact, I do most of what I do outside of the net. My job is not directly related to the internet, and neither is my specialty of academic study.
But I do still write, whether or not it is a paper, a social media post, or a blog post article. I am going to share here one of the stories that I wrote in the past for the purpose of allegory. It is one of many from my own private collection, coming from my own mind as I look out into the world with my worldview in mind. Nothing has been added to it. I hope that you enjoy it, but I hope that you learn from it and apply it to your relationships and the way that you validate your own worldview. It was originally written on September 26, 2015.
[Note: This work jumps around a lot. That actually was by design. It draws you into the world of progress. Enjoy, but learn.]
PROGRESS AND THE STUMP
Progress meandered through the velvet hallways of the cemetery
He passed through the sunny tunnels in the mountains
And the cramped open plains of the country
He looked down and saw the sky, and looked up
And saw a reflection of himself in a pool of mud
All was well with progressive Progress.
But along comes mischief, that blind derelict, yes
That one that runs, and when Progress turns to catch
It running it flies like a raven, and when
Progress pulls to shoot it down it stalks like a tiger
And when Progress lays traps it stings like a mosquito
And when Progress moves to slap himself it stands before
Surely all was merry in the world, what went wrong
To all for mischief to arise? For up was down, and
Down was up, war was ended for the troops
Had gone home from battle.
“But did the battle stop?” whispered mischief.
Round, furiously, turns Progress to not a thing but floating
Mountains in the sky, lost of their foundations
“Lost of their foundations.”
Up cranes the neck of Progress, for he cannot see where
Mischief may be. But he cannot see, he must check
His corners. But wait, did he look up or down, right or…
“Did you look right?” Progress whirled about
You mean left, right?
Down the road of intolerance trod Progress,
For the paved wood and smooth gravel of that
Road is all that he could tolerate,
Yes, he did get one thing right for sure, at least!
He is alive! Ahah! Mischief knows better.
“But are you living?” spoke a being beside the road.
Progress stunned, it spoke with mischief’s voice,
But mischief it was not.
“So there,” said Progress pointing at his self-ascribed
manual on how to tell the living from the dead. “See here,”
He pointed at his technology on his wrist, “my
heart is racing at 120 bpm. I am very alive.”
“Very,” said the being on the stump. “What is
“Why,” says Progress. “It is only language. It has
the meaning I want for it to have.”
“Oh, then why use them for me?” cried the being.
“Stop! Answer the question.”
“I am, I–”
“Stop! Understand the question!”
“Let me repeat it, you said–”
“Oh, never mind,” the being angrily roared and cleverly
smiled. Funny, Progress noted that it sat on a
tree stump, right-side up.
“Are you sitting right-side up?” Progress asked out of habit.
“Oh, you are still talking?” peered the being from one
open eye, arms folded. “Fine then, what if I am?”
“Then it is your business,” Progress stated. A mountain
passed overhead and for a moment light shone
down marvelously, but it didn’t light anything.
As insignificant an intrusion it was, for it had no
tangible effect, it did cause a pause in the conversation
for a moment.
“If it is my business, then why did you ask?” the
“Well, just curiosity.” Progress stated.
“Meddling. Invasive. Controlling. Judging!” cried the being
on the tree stump.
“Never!” cried Progress. “No, no, no, if I at all
asked it is my business and not yours!”
“Define business,” the being leaned forward with
inquiry on its expression.
“Why, why, it’s…” started but trailed off Progress.
“Come on then,” prodded the being on the tree stump in
“I have not decided yet.”
“Aha! You probably do not even know what verisimilitude is!”
jested the being in triumphant cry.
“No, I do! For I have here a reference book…here…
I have it!”
“In what language?” asked the being.
“Verisimilitude is in English.”
“But there are translations.”
“So you are telling me that verisimilitude is a word
extant in all world languages?”
“Well…no…there are some without it.”
The being folded its arms once again triumphantly.
Progress glanced about, he was on the right trail.
“But,” he cried in haughtiness from shame but not
truth…but the shame came from the truth
anyways, “Just because there is no word for it
does not make it untrue!”
“I never mentioned truth.”
“But you insinuated it.”
“I did not. Is this another game with words?”
the being relaxed its shoulders for another round.
Progress gritted his teeth, the paved wood shuddered
in strength under his feet.
“You think words define things?” asked the being.
“I do,” cried Progress in fatigue.
“But love is not found in all languages is it?”
“Sure it is.”
“No, I meant agape.”
“Ahah!” Cried Progress, “Now it is you playing with words.”
“I was speaking Greek, moron.”
Progress took a moment to ponder the strange insertion
of a figure of speech before his embarrassment arose
at realizing that Greek is a language on its own. “But
you are changing the game!”
“I wasn’t ever playing,” the being moved on its stump
with slight agitation toward Progress’ accusation. “And
neither should you.”
“It is all relative to experience anyway!” cried Progress.
“The lot of it all! Words and all! We define our
terms and use language as a crutch to move along!
We are all subjects moving in our own play
as solo objects. No ultimate meaning is determinable!
Nothing is true.”
“Is that true?”
“For me it is.”
“And for me it is not.”
“Get off of the road.”
“I am not on it,” the being responded, and lo behold
Progress with open eyes saw that the tree stump
itself was removed from the road.
He started to take a saw to it, but as he
stepped forward the distance between Progress and
the stump remained.
Long overworked, he caved in early.
“Hmm,” mused the being while it stood upon the
stump for a stretch before sitting back down.
“ ‘No ultimate meaning is determinable.’ Even in
language, so you say. Choice words.”
It peered with amber eye unto the inner being
of Progress through the eye. “I wonder if you
thought that before you picked up your
reference book. Or before now as you stand
shocked at your being misunderstood. I understood
clearly your misunderstanding, Progress. Can we
move on past this now?”
Progress stood depraved, shocked at the meaning
of words and the difficulty in the being’s words. But
Progress was whole. Progress was alive! Progress
didn’t need definitions or reference sources, so long
as Progress had meaning! And he had found it!
“Meaningless Progress,” cooed the being, laughing as
Progress continued slowly on the road of intolerance.
He pondered in honesty the words of the being, and
soon came away with their meaning. And he found
the sarcasm in the meaning even more frustrating
than what he went through to get the meaning.
Even worse, one of the mountains came crashing
down and caused a great cacophony and
trembling. Progress had to find real shelter,
and was forced to look up to watch for other mountains subject to fall. He had to look
down in a pool of clear water to check his face
for bruises. And, he cursed that being on the
tree stump, it had brought such mischief to
him on his path that day.
Amber of illuminating light shining inside still
was captured in his mind’s eye. The eyes of the
being still bore into him. Lights that still shone, truly.
And what of the being? Like a gremlin it
resembled, or a harlequin. It sat on a
tree stump speaking sensible nonsense to all
passersby in that imaginary verisimilitude.
And all came away with more frustration at its
sensibility than with the process to get there.
Whether a harlequin or a gremlin, most likely
a gremlin in appearance. For it was reality in life.
And it was good at playing the troll to nonsense.
On the Preceding, an Author’s Note
September 27, 2015
You know, if you missed the title, you really
Missed the point. I do love to play with words, but
First because I love to know their meaning.
You should read it again and try harder.
Relax, breathe, think.
And use a reference guide or a guide for understanding when you need to.