By Philip Birmingham
© 1983 by Philip Birmingham. All rights reserved.
What do you think about that Dewey? What? You don’t know about Dewey? You must be new to the bucket. We get a lot of new ones here…a lot. Well, listen my friend, and listen good. It’s all been pretty much pieced together by now. Dewey was just like you, a drop in the bucket, but Dewey didn’t know this at first, and what I’m about to tell you is how Dewey came to know what he knew and finally, know how he knew what he knew. Confusing, isn’t it? Darn right. But I liked Dewey, he was okay. He was really something...once.
He first just became aware of himself and if he had been by himself, he would have known everything. But that’s not the way it happened. What I think happened first was that after he became aware, he sensed that he had limits to himself, and that they were very fragile and. tender and shaky. He was afraid.
“That’s okay,” someone said, “Don’t worry about it, Dewey.”
“Dewey?” Dewey said, “Am I a Dewey?”
“Sort of, Dewey. You’re a droplet of water, and you’re not alone, so don’t worry. Dewey, by the way, is your name. Understand?”
“Yes,” Dewey said, very relieved. Who wouldn’t be?” You can’t be something without a name. Darn right.
“You have limits, Dewey,” someone else said, “please understand that.” “I do,” said Dewey. “You’re right, I can actually feel myself. I’m sort of round, but not really.”
“Well, that’s good enough for now. Actually, you are round, Dewey, please remember that. Here, here’s a blue thing.”
“What do I want with a blue thing?” said Dewey. Wouldn’t you? “
‘Cause you’re nothing right now, Dewey. Everyone can see right through you. You need something to show off your outlines. You aren’t going to give us trouble, are you, Dewey?”
Dewey smiled, kind of apologetically, because he didn’t want to give anyone any trouble, and you could hardly tell he was even smiling, because he didn’t have much dimension then. He really looked hard at that blue thing. It locked nice. He wondered somewhat about it though, because now he was aware. “What is it?” he asked, “And who are you?” “I’m a droplet, just like you, but I have substance and identity. I’m here to help you.”
Suddenly, it all became clear. Yes, I know, that’s sort of confusing, because that was his problem. Just bear with me here, I’m trying to share with you. Dewey was a droplet of water that was pure and clear. That was clear. And he was touching another droplet of water, the one with the substance. “Look around, Dewey,” said the other droplet. The other droplet was smiling, like someone who is about to give you a present. Dewey looked around and to his surprise he was touched all over on all sides by other droplets. Some of then were murky, some of them were not. Some were murkier than others and some were clear enough so that you could almost see through them. It was a great relief to Dewey, it really was. They all touched him and he felt very comfortable.
“Well, you want the blue thing or not? Make up your mind, Dewey, it’s your choice here.”
“Okay,” said Dewey. The blue thing really looked good. He took it and it became part of him, sort of by osmosis, which is something that just happens and really isn’t anybody’s fault. It happens to everyone, you just have to pick and choose. He could really feel his limits then. He seemed to get a little rounder.
“Have a brown one,” someone said.
“No, no,” someone added. “Dewey isn’t ready for a brown one yet.” Dewey felt a little deprived, but he didn’t say anything. Then someone offered him a pink one and then someone else quickly said that a pink one was okay, providing he had the blue one first. So he took the pink one and that felt good and what’s more, it really gave him something to hold onto. Dewey really had some dimensions now and he knew, he really knew he was round. He was relieved to find that out, he really was. “Here we go!” someone yelled. “Everyone stay together now!”
With that, everyone began to move very quickly and Dewey was pulled right along with them. He was frightened out of his wits and the force almost made him lose his blue thing. Everything and everyone rushed by so fast, Dewey just couldn’t keep everything straight. This seemed to go on for an awfully long time and Dewey was encouraged to occasionally hear someone talking to him. “It’s okay, Dewey, just go with the flow,” someone said. “Stay cool, Dewey, you’ve got some friends to help you along here.” Another one said, “Hey, don’t be a sweat-drop, Dewey, we’re all in this together.”
I can’t tell you how relieved Dewey was. Wherever he turned, some other droplet encouraged him. And then he began to enjoy himself and he found that no matter how fast he went he kept his roundness.
“Hang in there, Dewey!” someone yelled. There were smiles to go with it, and he smiled back. Then someone behind him whispered, “There’s more.”
He couldn’t see who that was, but that sure sounded interesting too. He thought it came from behind him but he wasn’t sure and before he could find out, someone else said, “Hey, Dewey, guess what!?”
“What?” said Dewey. He was giggling by now, because everything was going very fast and he was really enjoying it.
“Here, here’s a brown one!”
“What?” said Dewey. “A brown one...for me?”
“Darn right, Dewey, it’s just for you!”
“Wow!” said Dewey. Everyone was proud of Dewey, but no one more than Dewey himself.
About that time, everything slowed down and although he was jostled a little bit, everything finally grew calm. Dewey couldn’t have been happier. The brown thing really rounded him out. He knew, I mean really knew, everything about himself that there was to know. He was as round as round can be and was even a little bigger around then he was before. He noticed, too, that he had a little more color than some of the others, but he didn’t say anything. He could have, but he didn’t. That Dewey was okay, he really was. He took a little while to collect himself and after everything calmed down, he finally had a chance to ask some questions. Dewey was curious and fortunately he had many other droplets to help him. They were really smart and had a lot of substance. One of them, who was very round and very fat and very murky, gave him a nudge.
“Hey, Dew, have a green thing.” Dewey took it, of course, but something occurred to him.
“Where did you get this?” he said, “Is it yours?”
“Oh, no!” the big fat droplet said. “You’re not one of those, are you!?” About that time, Dewey felt something he didn’t like. The other droplets began shrinking away from him; not much, but enough to let him know he was in danger of losing his roundness and all the colors that made him murky. Worse, they let him know what it means to be alone. I can’t tell you how frightening that was to Dewey.
“No!” Dewey shouted, very quickly, and smiling as much as he could, “I’m not one of those.”
Everyone relaxed then, but no one more than Dewey, because he felt everyone touching him again and his roundness came back.
“There’s more,” someone said.
Well, that definitely came from behind him, I think, and it wasn’t all that loud.
“Sure,” Dewey said, still smiling and not even looking behind. Then the voice behind him said something else, but it get drowned out by another one in front of him.
“Here we go again! Everybody stay together! Wheeee!”
It was exhilarating, even more so than the first time, because by now he was round, as round as anybody else, and it felt good to swirl with his friends. He had a close call when they thought he was ‘One of those,’ but he managed to stay round. That was quick thinking on Dewey’s part.
And so it went, Dewey swirling with his friends over and over again. But one time, right after a “here we go!” and when they all finally came to rest, he began to wonder. He thought he heard that voice again. “What had it said?” Dewey thought aloud, “There’s more?”
“Yes,” said the voice, “There’s more.”
“There is?” said Dewey, trying to turn around. A droplet trying to turn around is really difficult and something to see.
“Oh no, I just can’t believe this!” That was someone else to Dewey’s left. It was the tone of voice that frightened Dewey. “Dewey, you’re really putting yourself in danger here. You better listen, and listen good!”
I don’t know what got into Dewey; you would think one close call was enough.
“Sure,” said Dewey, “I was just curious, that’s all.” Dewey felt strange, because some of the other droplets were making movements as if they were suddenly going to pull away from him again. And he felt others exerting pressure against him. He didn’t like that, because it did something to his roundness. And it hurt, too.
“There’s a level in here, Dewey. “Always seek your own level. The idea here is to go with the flow but try to get to the top of the bucket. And murky is really a good thing, Dewey, do you understand?”
“Sure,” said Dewey. He really didn’t. The voice was comforting because it was very experienced and very round and very murky and right there in front of him, where he could see it plain as day.
“There’s more,” said the voice. The one behind him, of course.
“There isn’t!” shouted the murky one. Dewey was confused and we have to give him credit here. For once he stood up, so to speak, and said, “If you don’t mind, I’d like to look for myself.”
Let’s consider that for a minute, because I think it was brave of Dewey. It didn’t feel good and he didn’t like it and as I just said, it hurt. The murky droplet scowled at him but after awhile, much to Dewey’s surprise, the murky one said, “Okay Dewey, see for yourself. Go ahead, Dewey, we’ll all stay right here. Go ahead, we dare you!”
Well, Dewey did. There was nothing, nothing at all. Dewey could hardly believe it. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
“Satisfied, Dewey?” The murky droplet was smiling, forgiving Dewey. Dewey was relieved, I can’t tell you how relieved. “Don’t worry about it, Dewey,” he said. “We’ve all done it at one time or another. We wanted to save you the trouble, that’s all. Here, have a gray thing,” Dewey took it. “And here’s an orange one, Dewey!” Boy, it sure felt good, like coming home after being away for a long time or something. “Here we go!” someone yelled, and they were off again, seeking their own level.
And so, time went on, and Dewey became fat and round and murky. He became very wise and experienced and he even shared his wisdom with other droplets. Soon, Dewey himself was yelling, “Here we go!” His dimensions were thick and strong and other droplets began seeking his advice. And then Dewey discovered that whenever and wherever he decided to flow, others followed. Dewey liked that and now and then he even shared some of his colored things with others. I can’t really say he was happy then, but let’s not say he was unhappy either. Let’s just say he was bothered. “There has to be something more,” he began saying to himself. That was strange, because that was what the voice behind him used to say. He hadn’t heard that voice in a long, long time. It just wasn’t there anymore. Where had it gone? Then he remembered, it had disappeared about the same time he had stopped to take a look. Yes, that was the last time he heard it. “Then it wasn’t real,” Dewey said aloud to himself. “I’ve looked. It just wasn’t real.”
“Darn right, Dewey.” That was the murky one.
By now, the murky one was disgusting, he really was. All those colors he had been absorbing had done something to him. He was really disgusting. Dewey didn’t like him anymore. About that time, during one of the “Here we go’s!” that Dewey sort of liked, he just jumped out of the main swirl. Just like that. That was brave, and let’s not forget that about Dewey. Dewey was different, and he knew it. Well, that’s when things really got interesting, because Dewey found out there were places in that bucket where there was a lot of light. He hadn’t realized it until then, but the murkier the other droplets became, (and let’s not forget that Dewey was more than a little murky himself) the darker it got. And all that swirling in the bucket didn’t clear things up any when all the other droplets were at least as murky as Dewey was.
Well, nothing goes on forever, does it. It was here that Dewey met some droplets that had very little color, but they sure were smart. They were nice, too, and Dewey came to realize that he had wasted a lot of time going with the flow and really doing nothing.
“Welcome, Dewey,” some droplet said. The other droplet didn’t even seem to notice that Dewey was pretty murky and really didn’t fit in at this level. Dewey felt pretty good about that. Well, wouldn’t you know it; this other droplet became his friend and introduced him to other droplets. Oh, some were murky, but they seemed to have it all under control. And they shared. They didn’t give him any real dark colors, more like pastels. The new colors really didn’t mix well with what he had and soon he became kind of agitated and confused. Then someone said, “Dewey, consider this. If you give up some of those darker colors, things are going to be all right. Do you understand?”
“Well, we’ll see,” said Dewey. By now Dewey was not the same smiling, drooling, dumb droplet that he was when he first started. He knew what he had, and what he had was real. But, brave as he was, he did take a pink one. You see he recognized the pink one right off. The problem was that he was all filled up with murky colors, but he was wise enough to know that if he really wanted that pink one, he would have to give up part of one of his brown ones. It took courage, let’s not call it anything else.
So he did it and the rest of the droplets, I mean his new friends, encouraged him. He liked it, but it really conflicted with his other colors. Then Dewey hit on it. “These colors don’t match, they just don’t go together,” he thought to himself. Now, wait until you hear this. What he did next was one of the most courageous things he ever did. He gave up the brown one. I mean he let the whole thing go, not just part of it. It was really beautiful to see. He just finally let go of that brown one. No wonder other droplets liked to follow Dewey. It was then that the pink one began to glow. It was very moving to Dewey. The other droplets, the new ones, approved but some of the old droplets that had followed him left. “So what,” said Dewey. He wasn’t even mad.
“Dewey,” one of the new ones said, “you are not like other droplets. Now here are some things you should know.” What were they? It’s almost too much for the average droplet to absorb, so to speak, but here is what they told him.
“You are a just a drop in the bucket,” one of them said.
“How do you know that?” Dewey said. I mean you could just see that Dewey was nobody’s fool by this time.
The other droplet smiled as if to say. “You really don’t understand, do you?” Dewey felt stupid, but he wanted an answer. “Very well, Dewey, but listen, and listen good. You are in a bucket, just like we all are. It’s a big bucket, but a bucket nevertheless. Now, and listen close please, we all have to follow the flow, one after another. There are murky droplets here mixed in with pretty, glowing droplets but,” (and the other droplet paused here for dramatic effect) “we are all in the same flow, just at different levels. Some of the other droplets aren’t all that pleasant, but we have to make do with reality. We are, after all, in the same bucket. But…” added the other droplet, raising a finger so to speak and pausing for dramatic effect, “we are in the top part of the bucket.
” Wow. “How big is the bucket?” said Dewey.
That was a smart question. See what I mean about Dewey? Of course, it brought one of those, “Dewey just doesn’t really understand” smiles. Another droplet, a kindly one, gave him an answer.
“Dewey,” he said, in a very kindly manner, “we have measuring things that can tell us how big the bucket is and,” (pausing here for dramatic effect) “we know it’s round.” I can’t tell you how surprised Dewey was when he heard that! It really made him think. And he got other pastel colors too, and all of this made him think so much that…I can’t wait to tell you this…some of the dark colors just began to ooze out. Isn’t that something? But he didn’t care, he really didn’t. As a matter of fact, he barely noticed it, because everything stayed in balance. For every pastel color he got, and some of them on his own, some of the darker colors just seemed to go out of him all by themselves. Who knows where they went. Who cares?
It was all new to him but for once, he really felt he had dimension. And soon he began to hear that voice again. You know, the one that used to say, “There’s more.” Don’t you hate voices like that?
Well, he looked behind himself again and saw nothing. Now that’s twice that he’s done that, so let’s give Dewey his due. And as time went on, his new friends helped him more and more. They tolerated his questions but always, always let him know that they were the experts and that he should go with the flow.
“You see, Dewey,” they used to say to him, “someday you will just sink to the bottom of the bucket. We all will. It’s a sad fact, Dewey, but we know you’re brave enough and wise enough to understand it. Just be nice, Dewey. Glow as you flow.” Boy, doesn’t that sound real nice? Glow as you flow…darn right. I guess I forgot in the excitement, but the flow was always there. Someone would say, “Here we go!” but more softly, and off Dewey would go, swirling and swirling, seeking his level and surrounded by his new droplet friends. The swirl was gentler, but a swirl is a swirl is a swirl.
The new swirling was really much more fun, at least that was what Dewey said, and he even commented once that the light was better. And he was free at any time to go to any level he wanted. I almost wish it ended there, because Dewey finally had it all together. He was happy, happier than he had ever been. But bravery and curiosity did him in. I even told him once myself to let well enough alone. It was only my opinion. What? My opinion? That’s this shimmery yellow one here. Gosh knows I wouldn’t force the yellow one on anyone. You’re free to absorb it, though. I mean, let’s face it. It just takes so long, so long to find one’s level. So much work. So much work. Yes, I know, you want to know what happened to Dewey, or at least piece it together somehow, even if it’s gruesome. We all want to know. It just feels so darn good, at whatever level one is, to look at other levels and other poor unfortunate droplets who really don’t know what it’s all about yet and...hey, don’t get uptight about this. It’s only a story about a droplet of water. How the heck bad can it be? Let’s take our cue from Dewey himself and let’s be brave and see what happened.
Well, at one point in the bucket, Dewey just had to ask. “What’s on the other side of the bucket?” In my opinion, just thinking about that is enough to burst your bubble, so to speak. But he got an answer. “Dewey, listen, and listen good, please.” That was another droplet that said that, and you could tell he was getting exasperated. “Don’t try to postulate those things, Dewey. Leave those things to those droplets who can measure the bucket and who know what the word postulate means.” Dewey didn’t even know what postulate meant and he had thought to fake it, but the other droplet just knew right off somehow. Then it got worse. “There is nothing on the other side of the bucket,” said the other droplet. “And nothing is something. Do you understand, Dewey?” Dewey didn’t. “You see, Dewey, it can’t be measured and Ockham’s razor...oh, sorry, you probably don’t know about Ockham’s razor. Actually, William of Ockham really didn’t discover it, he just used it…oh, sorry again.” Dewey was dumbfounded!
And the other droplet was right, he didn’t know. The other droplet, speaking kindly and smiling said, “That was first used by William of Ockham and it means that when things have a simple answer and a complicated one and we can’t decide which, then let’s just forget about it and deal with those simple things around us that we know. Because if we can’t measure it, it really isn’t real, is it? So we simply cut it off with a razor, in a manner of speaking.”
“Ockham’s razor!” exclaimed Dewey. “I get it, we cut it off with Ockham’s razor!”
“Right!” said the other droplet. The other droplet stopped talking then because he could see that Dewey was finally convinced. And it certainly took him long enough to find out something that a lot of other droplets knew a long time ago. I think it would be a good idea if someone wrote these things down. Go with the flow, glow as you flow, seek your own level, and then stay there. When it starts to get complicated, use Ockham’s razor! Soon enough you’ll be at the bottom of the bucket, but at least someone will know you’ve been in the bucket.
“Here we go again!” some droplet said. And off they went and now Dewey finally, finally had it together. Whew! He flowed and swirled and knew what he was, how big he was and where he belonged. And he found it; he found his own level, his very own level. He knew when he finally stopped, that this was it. He had arrived. It was calm. He wouldn’t have to go along with the rest anymore. He was at peace. It’s enough to bring tears to a droplet’s eyes, in a manner of speaking. This could have been a happy ending, if it weren’t for Dewey. But no, things no more than calmed down, when it happened.
“I won’t look,” said Dewey, refusing to look behind himself. Then he added, just for good measure and pausing for dramatic effect, “Ockham’s razor.”
Anyone could plainly see that they were dealing with a very different droplet here. Dewey had been all around the bucket, so to speak. That Dewey was okay, I mean really okay. I liked him. I Miss him...I miss him a lot.
“Good,” said the voice, “because there’s more, and it’s not behind you, it’s inside you.”
“Did you hear that?” said Dewey. “There’s something more, but I’ve been looking in the wrong place!”
“Don’t listen,” said someone, “you’ll end up being nothing. Look how far you’ve come, Dewey.”
“Don’t do it, Dewey!” someone else shouted. And yet another one from somewhere else inside the bucket said, “You’ve really worked hard to get where you are, don’t blow it!”
But did Dewey listen? Of course not. You ought to know Dewey well enough by now. So much for Dewey. I guess he wasn’t so smart after all.
“What?” said Dewey?”
“There’s more, “Dewey, much more,” said the voice.
“What else is there?”
"The other side of the bucket, for one.”
Dewey’s new friends began to shrink away,and Dewey began to feel those old and all too familiar fears coming back. Take my word for it, you can’t imagine how bad that feels. And who knows what drove him on, but on he went. It was bad enough to find out he was stupid, but then to find out he was stubborn, as well. You try to be nice.
“Show me,” said Dewey, expecting a, “Here we go!” or “Listen, Dewey, and listen good,” or something like that.
The voice paused before it spoke again, probably for dramatic effect.
“Let go, Dewey.”
“Dewey, don’t-Don’t listen!”
“Shut up,” said Dewey to whatever droplet that said that. “Let go of what?” Dewey said to the voice. Dewey was angry. He didn’t like having what he knew to be known challenged.
“Let go of you, Dewey.” Dewey laughed. Dewey laughed so hard, he almost shook himself apart.
“There’s more, Dewey, there really is.”
Oh, this was terrible! Poor Dewey tried to drown the voice out, so to speak, but that is difficult in a bucket of water. The more he thought about it, the less sense it made. “I’d die,” he said aloud, postulating to himself.
“No you wouldn’t,” said the voice.
“Will so!” someone said. Don’t ask me, I don’t know who that was. You hear something in a bucket and by the time you turn around, well, it all kind of looks the same.
I guess it was then that Dewey started to think. Really, really, really think. “It is not wise,” he finally said, after a pause for dramatic effect.
“Darn right,” someone said.
“Better believe it!” someone added.
“It is wise,” the voice said, so quietly that you could barely hear it. And the voice didn’t say anything else to convince him or even pause for dramatic effect. It just said, “It is wise."
It’s hard to say what came over Dewey then, but it’s sure as heck nothing new now. It could be that it’s happened since to other droplets at every level since the bucket began. I mean to say ‘began’ in an Ockham’s razor kind of way. All I can tell you is that Dewey, as brave and curious and wise and stupid as he was, decided to try it. He thought about it so much, it upset his colors, which wasn’t very pleasant, because they all matched real nice by then.
“Show me,” Dewey said. “There has to be more.”
“There is more.”
“What do I do?” Dewey was afraid, and I don’t blame him.
“Let go of yourself, Dewey.”
Now be honest with me. Right now, don’t you feel like yelling, “Watch out, Dewey!” or “Here we go!” You do? You know what? You’re okay. “How?” Dewey said.
“First, let go of all your colors.”
All of his colors! It was maddening! The very idea! I wouldn’t blame Dewey if he had said, “Here we go, hang on!” and just got the heck right out of there. But he didn’t.
“How?” he said.
Can you believe that? Would you do it? You would? Even when the other droplets begin to shrink away from you and you realize it isn’t just a feeling, it’s really happening? Really? You would? I’m impressed, but if that’s the way you think, you’ll have to excuse me, I have to go swirl somewhere else. You can stay around if you like, but take my word for it, you won’t be a ‘round’ for very long. That’s better, move closer. I was only kidding, I won’t leave you.
“How?” Dewey asked again.
What was the matter with him?
“Let yourself go, Dewey. It’s that simple, it’s that hard.”
“I don’t understand,” said Dewey, “I really don’t. And I’m afraid.”
“I know, Dewey, I know you are. Trust me, Dewey, please. I love you so much.”
Dewey trembled. His whole being vibrated. Part of him wanted to stay and part of him wanted to flow away. He held tight to his friends and they held tight to him. It seemed somehow, some way, all the droplets in the bucket were suddenly his friends. They stuck to him, close. Some even cried, although that’s hard to imagine in a bucket of water. I think we’ll have to Ockham’s razor that one. Anyway, the whole thing was moving. I don’t mean, “here we go!” moving, but more like what friends do when you’re in danger of leaving them for something better, something they have always wanted to do but never did. They worry about you.
“Stay with us, Dewey!” they pleaded.
“We’re with you, Dewey, you need us...don’t go!”
“Don’t listen, Dewey!”
Well, I have no intention of reciting everything that was said in that bucket at that time, but it is comforting to know that a droplet has friends. “Dewey, there’s more.”
I don’t know how Dewey ever heard that small voice over all that din in bucket, but he did.
“I just don’t know,” said Dewey.
“Here we go!” someone suddenly shouted. “Hang on, everybody!” You see what I mean about friends? It was the only way to bring Dewey to his senses. It was very tense at that moment. Droplets began flowing everywhere. They smiled and laughed and let Dewey know that they really wanted him with them. I don’t know, I just don’t know what held Dewey there.
The other droplets had to go around him and over him and under him. Some even exerted pressure on him. But he stayed. They tried everything they could think of to help him. But the voice took advantage of him, and let’s keep that straight, ‘cause I don’t think there’s any other way to put it.
“Dewey, there’s more,” is what he kept hearing when someone wasn’t shouting, “Stay, Dewey, stay with us!”
Now, right about then, when Dewey was the most confused and the most frightened and when he was just about to go with the flow, the voice said: “I have you, Dewey. Please, Dewey, don’t be afraid.”
You see, Dewey faltered. It wasn’t like he was a coward or anything. It was just too much, too much. He almost went with the flow again, but he didn’t. It was just too much.
“I love you, Dewey. You’re so precious to me. Please, Dewey.”
Well heck! Dewey, that big fat droplet Dewey, finally did it. So help me, he did it. He just let go. His colors began to fade. It was frightening. They were suddenly a mishmash that no one could recognize as anything. And they began to ooze out all over everybody. No one liked that very much and some very unpleasant things were said about Dewey. Some say, and don’t some always think that they know what happened, that some droplets even spit at him. That’s right, you beat me to it, who can be sure in a bucket of water? The more his colors left him, the more frightened he became. And the only comfort and peace he had through all of this was the voice.
“There’s more, Dewey,” and, “I love you, Dewey.”
When all of his colors began to leave him, other droplets said things like: “Look! Look at Dewey! He’s becoming nothing!” I felt so sorry for Dewey. Everyone did. As if that wasn’t bad enough, when all his colors oozed out, there was nothing left but his roundness. I’m telling you I saw it myself. That isn’t just something I heard from some other droplet. I mean, I saw it!
It wasn’t too long after that, either, that he began to shimmer and glow because he began to reflect what little light the other droplets gave off. That was bound to happen, what else could he do? He sure didn’t have any of his own. Several droplets, who probably didn’t know the whole story, said his colors were beautiful. Think about that for minute, if you want a laugh. What colors? Then, and let’s remember we told him so, his roundness began to tremble and shake. It didn’t help matters that everything was flowing on by him and around him and under him. His friends were right. He was becoming nothing. All that work. Darn it!
Then the worst. He lost his roundness. What else? Then? Well, with no colors to hold him together, he became misshapen. Who could keep track of it all? One second he was a sphere, the next he looked like a frankfurter, and the next, he almost looked square. He just made everyone sick. No one would even touch him by then, which is maybe the reason why what happened next, happened. He just lost all of his dimensions. He didn’t burst, though, like some shouted he would. He just sort of…dispersed. That’s the nicest word I can think of to describe it, because I don’t think he osmosed, or anything like that. And I don’t mind telling you, if it weren’t for some of us telling you others about it, he would have even lost his name, too.
Well, then he began to go in all directions at once. He went with the flow and against the flow and under the flow and above the flow, all at the same time. That’s very hard to picture and you can only imagine what it felt like to poor Dewey. I say “Poor Dewey” because he said strange things during that time. He was so disarranged. Some other droplets said he went right inside them somehow and that their colors got changed. Isn’t that something? Isn’t that really something? It was their own fault, their own fault; I can’t really blame Dewey for that.
“Thank you, Dewey,” they said, and polite things like that.
“I love you,” Dewey would answer. And we know where he got that. I’m telling you, he was infecting the whole bucket. There’s no way to describe it properly, only to say he was frightened, because he felt like he did when he first became aware. The next thing I know, he wanted to share his fright. If there was any doubt about how bad it got, that should give you a clue. Share his fright? That cut it! He was a real nothing by then. That’s what he wanted to share. But…how can I explain it, he seemed somehow to know everything. And he said he kept hearing the voice. “There’s more,” and, “Dewey, I’m so proud of you, I love you so much.”
“Did you hear that?” Dewey would say, “Did you hear it? Listen.” Then, for a while, he wouldn’t be frightened.
“Sure, Dewey,” someone would say, “we’re really happy for you.” What else could anyone say? That’s how bad it got. He just kept listening to that voice. Then others began to ask him, “What’s it like Dewey?” They used to ask him that a lot because his answer was always the same and always funny. I didn’t join in with that, though, but I don’t blame anyone for trying to have a little fun. Dewey would tell them that it was like one of those soft, lovely melodies that you hear every now and then that just makes you stop what you’re doing and listen. “It just seems to keep rising this way and that way,” he would say, “and just when you think you know where it’s going, it goes somewhere else that’s even better, and you don’t care because you want to go with it. It keeps surprising you, over and over again, and you just keep listening. It’s so beautiful…it’s so beautiful”
I like something with a beat, myself, don’t you? If I’m going to listen, I wanna know where I stand. Well, I’m afraid the rest is hearsay. He kept it up and kept it up until one day, he reached the limits of the bucket. I know, I thought the same thing. A little proof wouldn’t hurt. And it wasn’t just one limit, but all the limits, and at the same time.
Then, and this gives me goose bumps in a manner of speaking, that’s when it happened. He went through the bucket and entered something called the sea, and he knew it was great and large and he felt at peace, because his level was all levels. The sea loved him, he knew that right away, and he loved the sea. And then suddenly-suddenly, he could see clearly that the bucket he had been in was so small, so small, and that it floated helplessly just beneath the sea. And it saddened him to see that it was sinking, sinking. So deep, so deep, so far down, so dark… sinking, sinking, but so easy to get out of. It had scum on its surface that was made up of all the colors from all the droplets. That was what blotted out most of the light coming into the bucket. He wanted to tell everyone about it, but he couldn’t. It was so simple, so easy. Anybody could see that. So simple. Finally he could postulate something, but he had no one to postulate to, because the sea knew what he knew and he knew what the sea knew…see? And he couldn’t go back to the bucket. Besides, he still didn’t really understand what that word postulate meant.
I know, it’s all kind of crazy, but please listen, I have to tell someone about this. Dewey suddenly just spilled over with something. It was like someone poured something into him, but there was nothing left of him to pour anything into. You can see now what they mean by Ockham’s razor. It just doesn’t make any sense.
“There ‘s more,” said the voice.
You couldn’t even say that you could see right through him by then, because he was all over the place at the same time. A nothing of the sea who was something in the sea. I guess he was the sea…something. Then he began to rise toward the light above him. He just kept rising and rising and rising until he went right up to the surface of the sea. His last chance to hold on to himself, his very last chance to hold on. That was it, no more chances. I don’t have to tell you. He didn’t. I have to pause here. It’s not for dramatic effect, it’s just that thinking about what happened then makes me all misty-eyed…so to speak. I’m okay now.
“Oh, Dewey, I’m so proud of you,” that voice said. “I love you, Dewey, I love you so much…so much. You’re so close now, Dewey, so close. Let go, Dewey, let go. I am the light, Dewey, don’t you see? Let go, Dewey, let the light take you, don’t be afraid.”
And no one shouted at him anymore. He was past all that; there was no way to help him, no way. It’s an overwhelming sadness just to think about it. I don’t even think that Dewey gave it that much thought then. You know, you reach a point, the end when...who knows?
“I will,” said Dewey, “I will. I love you, too.”
The light took him then…just as simple as that. He evaporated into nothingness. He was gone. He rose so softly, so softly, and when he finally stopped, he was in a cloud in the sky. It was so peaceful, so peaceful. The cloud was white, and he was part of it, and yet he still had no dimension, no dimension at all. He was at peace. There were other droplets there, and they loved him. They didn’t have to touch him, because somehow they were all one. And no one said, “Here we go.” What they said was…pausing for dramatic effect…
“Here we are.”
And that, sadly, is all I can tell you except for the very last thing. You see, there’s more, but I don’t know what it is, I really don’t. I think Dewey does, but he’s gone. It’s frightening. I can’t tell you how frightening. Call me crazy if you like, but I miss him. Don’t you be afraid though, don’t you worry. I’m still beside you, touching you, sharing colors with you. We are all in the same bucket, all swirling in the same whirlpool. Now please, don’t ask me any more about the voice. And watch out. If you think you hear it, someone is gonna point at you and laugh. You see, if you start acting liking Dewey, they’ll whisper and shake their heads and worry about you. It’ll make you feel terrible and you’ll be alone. They’ll point you out to their friends and say, “He’s hearing Dewey’s song.” Yes, that’s what they call it now, “Dewey’s song.” Ockham’s razor. It amounts to the same thing. But you know… someday I just might do it myself. I’m telling you right now, I just might. I mean it…I just might. But for now, stick around, my friend, close by. Listen to me, and listen good. Let’s not go against the flow just yet, let’s find our own level. Who really knows what happened to poor old Dewey. Here, have a green thing. Do you understand? Do you agree? Darn right! Ready? Here we go! Hold on!