Monday, April 14, 2008

Why Parables?

You might be wondering by now why I keep trying to invent modern-day parables. The reason is simple. I am trying to figure out how to do it. I learn by doing.

Judging by my rate of success, or lack thereof, it becomes increasingly clear that creating a parable is very, very hard. It is surely harder than it looks. It makes one appreciate the genius of one Jesus of Nazareth, who seemed to gush them in a continuous stream. It's a tricky art form, requiring not only an apt analogy but one that can be communicated in a tiny number of words. Unbelievably tiny. "Condensed" ain't in it. "Miniaturized" isn't a strong enough word. "Complexity cloaked in elegant simplicity" is a near miss.

The only analogy I have for it is, in the musical world, the creation of a chorale to go with an equally excellent Lutheran hymn. This too is an all-but-lost art. Even those who have come close to reviving it are only "on base" once in a while. And no one can get that close without constant and tireless application. Wherefore parables? - Therefore.

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