J’ai demandé à un client : « Si vous voulez, imaginez-vous une fois votre vie comme un village de montagne, dans lequel le fleuve a débordé et a amené beaucoup de boue et d’éboulis. Après ce malheur le conseil municipal se réunit avec les villageois, les pompiers et la protection civile et ils discutent de ce qui est à faire. Il arrive tout d’abord des gens avec des pelleteuses, des bulldozers et des camions pour enlever le plus gros des éboulis. Pouvez-vous vous imaginer cela ? » « Oui. » « Vous pouvez voir comment ils déblaient tout ça. Après l’équipe de rangement il arrive des gens avec des tuyaux et des balais. Ils enlèvent toute la boue et le sable du village, toute cette saleté qui est venue de l’arrière-pays. Vous pouvez voir comment ils font tout couler vers le bas dans la vallée. Vient ensuite l’équipe des artisans. Il y a des maçons, des plâtriers, des peintres, peut-être aussi des électriciens, des installateurs, des stucateurs, des restaurateurs. « Que font-ils d’après vous ? » « Ils peuvent plafonner ou cloisonner. » « Exact. Quoi d’autre ? » « Poser une moquette. Câbler. Placer des tringles à rideau. » « Exact. Après les artisans arrivent les jardiniers. Ils aménagent de nouveau les parcs et les jardins. On rajoute peut-être un puits au village ou un tilleul au village pour améliorer encore plus le village, pour qu’il soit mieux qu’avant. Et un monument commémoratif. Peut-on imaginer cela ? » « Pas très bien. » « Eh bien, vous n’avez pas besoin de vous imaginer tout ça. Dites bonjour à votre âme, pour qu’elle fasse ça pour vous, comme ça vous n’avez pas à vous en occuper. Après il y a des personnes très importantes qui arrivent. C’est l’équipe de prévention. Ce sont eux qui veillent à ce que cela n’arrive plus. Ils peuvent planter la pente au-dessus du village par exemple, pour que les racines des arbres fixent la terre. Ils peuvent construire des murs et des grillages dans le style d’un paravalanche. Ils peuvent creuser un lit plus profond pour le ruisseau, peuvent construire des marches de barrage et des bassins de retenue ou même une déviation pour l’eau du ruisseau qui est de trop. »
In a land in our time there lived a man, who read a book and found lots of wonderful stories therein. There were true and invented stories, experienced and pensive, enjoyable and painful stories. There were stories which contained stories, and such which were actually not stories. For every story he read, there occurred to him nearly five which he had either experienced or thought up himself. So the thought came to him, that a lot in the world was a story which could be healing for himself and others; he only needed to absorb the healing stories well and to forget the terrible ones immediately. Then he would learn which story he had used when and for what. So he organised his own stories which he knew, and which had become a help to himself and others, or could become so. Sometimes he noted it down when a new story came to his ears and sometimes when a helpful story occurred to him, he memorised it.
Then he saw before him in a picture the storystories of this life arranged in long shelves, as in a large pharmacy. And behind the counter there sat a man who had learnt to listen to himself and others. He was a master of his subjectspecialty. His talent was that he understood how to tell the right thing at the right time to himself and to those who visited him.
“Your body needs exercise”, the doctor had said to him. “What about doing some sports? You wish to prevent further heart attacks, don’t you?” Yes, of course he wished for this. But sports? Reluctantly he decided on a hypnosis session. He liked the therapy. He just had to sit in an armchair and listen to stories about racing horses and working elephants. “This is just like watching TV”, he said to his therapist.
Two weeks later they met by coincidence while shopping in the town. “How are you doing?” the therapist asked. “Great”, the man replied. “On Mondays and Thursdays, I go jogging, on Tuesdays and Fridays, I’m in a fitness studio and on Wednesdays and Saturdays I play table-tennis. On Sundays I go for a hike in the country and apart from this…” “Oh”, said the therapist, “Why don’t you come by and see me sometime next week?”
Mr. Wright lives in Hopville at the river Gies. This is situated near Evenbrook at the Reed, close to the village of Lowfield. Every day, Mr. Wright works in his little garden. He hoes the ground and weeds out the dandelions. He plucks the dry leaves off the sunflowers and waters all the plants in his garden. Two neighbours pass by. They whisper: “Oh, look at him! Does this man have nothing better to do than to water his flowers all day?” The hobby gardener hears their words and says to himself: “I don’t deserve to be considered lazy. I have plenty of work!” The next morning, Mr. Wright gets up quite early. He throws himself into his work and puts in some overtime. He is very industrious. His boss is proud of him. The beautiful plants in his garden dry up however, and after a few weeks, his garden is full of weeds. One evening, he hears his neighbours passing by: “Oh, look at him! How this man lets his garden go to waste! It is an embarrassment for the whole village!”
The next morning Mr. Wright gets up even earlier than before. He takes his job very seriously, working hard without a break, all day. Coming home from work late at night he works in his little garden. While doing so, he hears his neighbours say as they pass by: “Oh, look at him! Hasn’t this man got four children? He spends no time with them nor does he support his poor wife in her daily work. He should be ashamed of himself.”
From then on Mr. Wright gets up even earlier. The break of dawn sees him working in his little garden, just before he goes to his company, where he works like a madman. In the afternoon, he helps his wife, and then he supports his children in any way he can think of. Dead tired he falls into bed. This continues for a while until one morning he does not get up any more. The doctor fills in the death certificate. “Myocardial infarction” he notes. Two days later the funeral takes place. His faithful neighbours also accompany him on his last journey. “Oh, look at him! He could have taken it a bit more easy and lived a calm and pleasant life. Why did he work so hard?”