What do we want to say from Apple Farm about CHAOS AND CREATION?
Shortly after the Paris bombing in November 2015 Apple Farm closed for the winter months. I wondered how we might stay in touch when the world seemed so full of fear. So the winter writing project launched in early 2016 was "What do we have to say from Apple Farm about fear?" Each winter we write -- story, prose, poetry, images.
To stir the pot for our thinking about CHAOS AND CREATION, a folktale from China:
Repaying Hun-tun's Kindness
Long ago before the beginnings of the universe, there existed nothing except unformed chaos. At that time, Hu, whose name means "sudden," was Emperor of the Northern Sea, and Shu, whose name signifies "brief," was Emperor of the Southern Sea.* Emperors Hu and Shu were friends that were separated by great distance. They met halfway between their two domains in the territory of Hun-tun, Emperor of the Center, whose name means "chaos." Emperor Hun-tun was hospitable to these two friends making it possible for them to meet as often as they wished.
During one visit, Shu and Hu said to one another, "Without the Emperor of the Center, we would be unable to meet this like this. What might we do to repay Hun-tun's kindness."
After much thought, Shu and Hu said to each other, "But of course! Despite his wonderful qualities, the Emperor of the Center is different from the rest of us. He lacks the seven orifices that are needed for seeing, smelling, eating, breathing and hearing. Let us bore the necessary holes in him so that he too can have the seven features like the rest of us. This is the way we can repay his kindness." Hun-tun gladly agreed and gave permission to have seven holes bored into him.
The next day, Shu and Hu began boring the Emperor of the Center at the rate of one orifice a day. By the sixth day, with six openings in his body, Hun-tun was appearing quite similar to them. Then, on the seventh day, Shu and Hu began boring the last hole. But much to their shock, as soon as their work ended, Hun-tun could neither move nor talk. Hun-tun, whose name means "chaos," was dead. And at that very moment, as Shu and Hu stood together and watched in awe, they also saw the beginnings of the creation of the world and all its inhabitants.
*Although the words Shu and Hu combined (Shu-hu) means "lightning," it is thought that this was broken down by Chuang-tzu in this myth to denote the truth that when the illumination from light strikes chaos, it leads to the creation of life and the restoration of order.