The universe (tiandi) doesn’t play favorites;
it treats all phenomena as if they were straw dogs.
The sage doesn’t play favorites;
he treats the people as if they were straw dogs.
– Daodejing Chapter 5 (my version). According to the Zhuangzi, straw dogs were sacrificial artifacts, treated with the utmost deference before they were used in the offering, and discarded afterwards.
The found object: how did it come to be born here, in the hand & in the eye? What does it ask of us? What might it become?
It passes slowly from hand to hand. We speak for it, taking turns. “I fell from the sky.” “I was thrown.” “I was dropped.” “I was laid down.” “I formed here, like dew.” “I sprouted.” “I popped out.” (What a bunch of jokers!)
We still think we’re the only ones here. Our word people means “human beings only.” Animal, mineral, or vegetable, we chant at the start of every game of Twenty Questions. There’s a campfire, of course. We’re singing, A, b, c, double x, y, z. Cat’s in the cupboard & he can’t see me. (Schrödinger never really cared about that poor cat, but we do!)
Well, let’s say someone gets up and tosses it on the fire. Yes. She drops it in the hottest part of the fire. “Now we’ll see!” (Will it burn? Will it burst?)
(We pass the bottle, now. We fall asleep.)