Coming Soon to a Mind Near You

Archive for October, 2009

Chapter 1 – A Fervent Flash

One cool, crisp moonless evening, as Izzy hiked the hills above her home she suddenly heard a voice call out from the night, “YO THERE, IZZY … I NEED A WORD WITH YOU.”

Izzy looked up. A fervent flash lit up in the sky as the outlines of something strange silhouetted against the stars.  It was a distinct dazzle, but only for an

instant.  As quickly as it had appeared,  it faded, like fireworks of the mind … at first blinding … then simply a beckoning memory … leaving a black hole of nothingness.  These things sometimes happened to Izzy. She didn’t know why, but she had a way of inspiring a strange significance in her world.

“Over here,” the voice beamed light towards her, like a meteor shower.   She looked up again. Another flash in the sky – then again … something quite definitely was not there. It happened again and the third time was a charm.  This time when nothing was left in the sky, it filled Izzy with something … something quite powerful.

She felt a tap on her soul, “Izzy, your time has come.”

Izzy spun around and called out towards what had been real in her mind’s eye for but one highly significant moment … and now was gone, “Who are you?” she asked of the sky, but could she have been asking the same question of herself. She imagined she heard something again.  It sounded like Izzy or Wizzy or some combination therein. Suddenly, the outlines of The Wiz of Iz started to take shape in her mind and what she imagined was more distinct … more forceful … and more real, “You’re going to act out your life … for real … as a tale for our time … a significant story … a poignant parable about the power of an idea.  You have a really important job to do.

 

“Me?”  Izzy inquired as she looked around. Nobody was there. A zillion thoughts bolted around her brain, but the only words that came out of her mouth were, “Why me?”

“Because Somebody has to do it.” The Wiz of Iz intoned.

Izzy struggled to regain her balance. “Do what?” she blurted.

“Bring back the power of transformative ideas to The Land of Izn’t,” said The Wiz of Iz. “What was once a land of positive energy has become a land of negativity.   That’s why The Land of Iz is now called the Land of Izn’t.”

“I don’t know much about all that stuff,” Izzy confessed, “So, what’s your plan?”

“My plan…” The Wiz of Iz waived his hands in a big circle, “ … is big … really big …”

“Why … why so big,” She asked.

“Because … Izzy, The Land of Izn’t is now living through an epochal period of crisis and change … a time when most people are too busy to really understand what’s happening in beneath the surface of fleeting impressions in their lives and in society. We need to see a story acted out–to help us understand what’s really happening in a big way?”

“So … again … why do you ask me?” Izzy wondered.


“Aren’t you, Izzy, the inspired idea?” The Wiz of Iz asked, “Or have I dialed up the wrong Izzy?”

“That’s me all right,” Izzy affirmed with resolute uncertainty.

“Well, then,” The Wiz of Iz, offered forth, “Transformative change is the incarnation of inspired ideas like you … so … you are the living embodiment of the change that is needed … now!”

“Far out,” Izzy wanted laughed at the sheer audacity of this notion, but she couldn’t because … she knew this was serious business.

“You can try to make light of this,” The Wiz of Iz admonished, “ … as most people are wont to do when confronted with stark significance, but … this is real.”

The Wiz of Iz peered into her dreams, “Big ideas like you have been lost in the tedium of daily routine in the Land of Izn’t. It’s affected everyone.  It’s affected you!”

“Me?” Izzy wondered.

“Yes, you!” warned The Wiz of Iz, “Your self image has been tarnished by the cutting cynicism of times. Izzy, look at yourself through my eyes.”

Izzy returned his gaze.  An intensely, disturbing realization emerged out of the depths of her reflection.

“Don’t you see what I don’t see?”  The Wiz of Iz asked.

Izzy grew apprehensive, “What don’t you see?”

“I don’t see anything.  I see it very clearly.” The Wiz of Iz said and shot her a penetrating glance, “Why isn’t anything there?”

Izzy said nothing.  She said it quite distinctly.

The Wiz of Iz understood exactly that Izzy hadn’t said. He probed deeper, “Is this because ideas without execution are worthless? Do you want to be worthless?” The Wiz of Iz asked.

“No … no …” Izzy replied.

“Unfortunately, you will now have to be executed,”  The Wiz of Iz sadly informed her.

Izzy gasped, “I don’t want to be executed,” her voice trembling, “What am I guilty of?”

“You’re guilty of inaction, Izzy, but I’ve got good news for you. This kind of execution won’t hurt.  In fact it will be quite the opposite. It will bring you a deep and abiding joy.” The Wiz of Iz explained, “I’m talking about implementation of great good ideas, like you.  It’s the kind of execution where small seeding ideas grow into something quite powerful and grand … ideas so powerful that they change the world.”

The Wiz of Iz looked into Izzy’s soul, “Izzy, you’re MIA from the unfolding drama of the times?  Why?”
Izzy confessed, “I’ve been wondering the same thing a lot lately.”

The Wiz of Iz theorized, “Is it because you don’t see yourself as a force to be reckoned with?”

“Why wouldn’t I do that?” Izzy wondered.

“Ask yourself the same question,” The Wiz of Iz surveyed her soul, “Do you believe in yourself?” “Hold it right there!” Izzy admonished.  The Wiz of Iz was coming in uncomfortably close.

The Wiz of Iz penetrated Izzy’s psyche even further. Looking away now, upwards at the stars, he declared, “The universe always makes way for the light of inspiring ideas at precisely the moment they are needed.”

Izzy pushed back, “You are way too far out for me. I’m just too busy for this.”

“Too busy doing what?” The Wiz of Iz countered. “You spend your time just thinking about things instead of  acting out what you believe. You do only what is vital to preserve your desperately held sense of insignificance.”

“My insignificance is my own business,” Izzy fired back defensively. “If I want to be insignificant that’s my right!  It enables me to stay within the protection of my shell.”

The Wiz of Iz anticipated her next thought and turned it around 180 degrees, “You don’t need your shell for protection. There are ample protective forces in the universe.

Just as you are suffering in your soul,
the soul of society is suffering because many others seek only the protective shield of their shell. The shells of society, collectively become “the system” that governs our lives. We never stop to ask, the deeper questions: is that shell of a system really serving our true needs?  Is that shell of a system fundamentally at odds with what we really want for ourselves and for our society? Now more than ever, the world needs big, innovative and inspiring ideas to shift the dynamics of change–by freeing us from that shell and that system.”

Izzy pondered all this in her soul, “Let’s say you’re right about this” she ventured, “What are its implications?”

The Wiz of Iz answered simply, “The implications are vast.  Once you step out from your shell, you will perceive everything around you differently. You will no longer erect all kind of obstacles in your life to avoid your true calling.”

“Interesting idea.” Izzy granted, warming up to what the Wiz of Iz was offering up.

He pushed further, “Izzy, I’ve got news for you. From this moment forward, everywhere you look, everything you read, every sound your hear, every voice that speaks to you … every sign you see … will pulsate with meaning. That meaning remind you of this little chat we’ve been having.  You’ll realize that you and the entire land are at an inflection point.  You will feel the deep joy of knowing that you are alive – sensitive to the pain of people around you … people who are struggling to survive financially, emotionally and spiritually. You’ll start to recognize the symptoms of fundamental flaws in the systems of our lives.
In the midst of all this, you’ll keep asking yourself the same question: “What are we going to do about it?” 

“Yeah, right,” Izzy protested,

The Wiz of Iz had not yet closed the deal. But he had something left to offer – a story. “Izzy, I’m going to share a story with you – a story of profound significance.  It’s the story of four good buddies who accepted their call. It’s the story of empowerment.  It’s the story of change. It’s the story of hope in action.”  Then he added poignantly,
“Izzy, this is your story.”

One cool, crisp moonless evening, as Izzy hiked the hills above her home she suddenly heard a voice call out from the night, “YO THERE, IZZY … I NEED A WORD WITH YOU.”

Izzy looked up. A fervent flash lit up in the sky as the outlines of something strange silhouetted against the stars.  It was a distinct dazzle, but only for an instant.  As quickly as it had appeared,  it faded, like fireworks of the mind … at first blinding … then simply a beckoning memory … leaving a black hole of nothingness.  These things sometimes happened to Izzy. She didn’t know why, but she had a way of inspiring a strange significance in her world.

“Over here,” the voice beamed light towards her, like a meteor shower.   She looked up again. Another flash in the sky – then again … something quite definitely was not there. It happened once more and the third time was a charm.  This time when nothing was left in the sky, it filled Izzy with something … something quite powerful.

Izzy felt a tap on her soul, “Izzy, your time has come.”

Izzy spun around and called out towards what had been real in her mind’s eye for but one highly significant moment … and now was gone, “Who are you?” she asked of the sky, but could she have been asking the same question of herself.

She imagined she heard something again.  It sounded like Izzy or Wizzy or some combination therein. Suddenly, the outlines of The Wiz of Iz started to take shape in her mind and what she imagined was more distinct … more forceful … and more real, “You’re going to act out your life … for real … as a tale for our time … a significant story … a poignant parable.  This will bring back the power of inspiration to The Land of Izn’t.

A zillion thoughts raced around her brain, but the only one that came out of her mouth was, “A parable?”

“Yes,” The Wiz of Iz intoned, “a story where the characters represent much more than what they are.”

Izzy struggled to regain her balance, “For example?” she blurted out.

“Like The Wizard of Oz,” offered The Wiz of Iz. “Did you know that many very intelligent people believe The Wizard of Oz was written as a parable about the world of money and banking?”

“I didn’t know that. Are you a modern day reincarnation of The Wizard of Oz? Izzy asked.

“Perhaps,” The Wiz of Iz declared.  “But I wouldn’t recommend thinking like that.  Usually I don’t recommend thinking at all … if the alternative is feeling. But if you insist upon thinking, your mind can play with my being any way it wishes.”

Izzy felt a creative rush as her mind bolted towards the possibilities, “Who is this character? Who is The Wiz of Iz?”  She wondered.

The Wiz of Iz felt Izzy’s wonder and raised it a notch, “Generations have now have played with the allegorical figures in The Wizard of Oz, imputing to them all their own hopes, fears and insecurities … Dorothy … the Scarecrow … the Tim Man … and the Cowardly Lion.  You do remember them of course?” The Wiz of Iz tested her literary acumen.”

“Why … yes … of course,” Izzy granted, “Everybody remembers them.”

“They were all characters of expansive scope.” The Wiz of Iz continued. “They represented real life figures in the unfolding economic and political struggle of the day.  The farmers and factory workers were all deeply in debt in era of increasing financial crisis and deepening suspicion of big bankers.  Sound familiar?”

“A bit,” Izzy confessed, “So?” Izzy asked, skeptically, “What’s your drift?”

“My drift?” The Wiz of Iz mimicked and mirrored her thought, “Izzy, The Land of Izn’t is now living through another epochal period of crisis and change  … a time when most people are too busy to really understand what’s happening beneath the surface of reported events.  Could the world be at an inflection point?  Do people need to understand what’s really happening to their culture and institutions?  Do they need to see a story acted out–to help them understand what’s really happening to them and their society?”

“Good questions … why do you ask me?” Izzy wondered.

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