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Just a Phase
Christina's World, Andrew Wyeth, 1948
My lawnmower, one day, found itself wandering about in a state of wonder after having chewed up my zinnias before coming to its practical senses. Somehow, or other, my lawnmower had acquired a soul along with, it seems, a lot of other baggage.
It no longer found parked in the garage over an oil spot self-enhancing. It had a larger purpose. Because, why would it have a smaller purpose? Or the same purpose, now that it was aware of so much?
Meanwhile, the child across the street had lost hers and only wanted to stay in the dark garage and come out once a week to chew grass. A normal family would have been beside themselves, but this one decided it was just a phase.
What larger purpose could a lawnmower have? It meditated, had me ship it to India, re-affirmed its vegetarian nature and insisted this world was an illusion. “The world as you imagine it does not exist,” my lawnmower said, while preaching to the other lawnmowers which came to hear. They overflowed—blue, green, red—my two car garage.
Meanwhile the girl across the street was chewing everyone’s yard. We became a lawnmower’s Mecca. Psychologists came to study the girl across the street.
Then, one day, everything returned to normal. My lawnmower sat silent in the garage. The girl across the street found a boyfriend. It was just a phase, I finally decided.
The Story of Kibbu