After another hour Narr and Ob became very obsessed with the situation. They could not stop thinking about it, unable to figure out a solution. Eventually the decision was made to do something. They left Ob’s flat and hesitated on an empty corridor having two other doors to choose from. Imm’s and Diff’s. They barely knew their neighbours. Imm hosted a lot of noisy parties. Diff was quiet but always a bit untidy.
‘Ok, lets try Imm,’ said Narr and knocked at Imm’s half opened doors. They cautiously walked in examining every bit of Imm’s flat. Soft pillows and sofas everywhere. Low cupboards packed with stuff that Imm had brought back from his trips. The living room was empty but they noticed Imm and Diff through an opened terrace door laying on the sun beds with closed eyes.
‘Hello,’ whispered Narr examining their chests and making sure they are moving. ‘Are you sleeping?’ he asked quietly.
Diff opened his eyes and blinked a few times.
‘Yes, err no,’ he mumbled not quite sure what had happened but already being distracted from the trip he just had. ‘Can I help?’ he asked.
‘Yes, actually there’s a problem, not sure if you can help but just wanna ask if you know something about the broadband being cut off this morning?’ Narr whispered quietly. He did not want to wake up Imm who was still laying with a gentle smile.
‘Ah yes, its really annoying, isn’t it. We have just been trying to fix it, err, kind of,’ said Diff. ‘Since I got here, I enjoyed every minute actually. I mean, I didn’t enjoy the cut off but I am happy to have time to enjoy myself because it happened. Err, does that make sense, what I’ve just said?’ Diff scratched his head.
‘No, it doesn’t but what’s the plan?’ Narr was getting a bit braver and louder. ‘It can’t last. The cut off makes things so tough…, wow, actually I am jealous you could enjoy it. How is that possible? Isn’t it weird?’ frowned Narr.
‘Well, ask Imm. He did it to me,’ said Diff. If you like you can pop on these beds and have a word with Imm about it. I’ll check the bathroom.’
‘Good, but just for a minute, I am so exhausted,’ sighed Narr, adjusting the position of the bed to get as much sun as possible.
‘Broadband’s still off,’ shouted Diff from inside Imm’s flat after a short moment. Narr and Ob winced as a wave of anxiety spasm surged through their stomachs. ‘Imm’ whispered Narr after a while ‘Are you sleeping?’. ‘No, why are you asking?’ answered Imm.
‘Because your eyes are shut, mister genius,’ snorted Narr. ‘What are we going to do with the broadband? We need it badly,’ he added.
‘Well, is it really a problem?’ asked Imm.
‘Are you joking?’ chuckled Narr. ‘We are completely lost without the broadband. Our lives are in serious danger, man. This is the only thing we should be focusing on now!’ Narr was almost yelling at Imm now.
‘Sorry to disappoint you mate,’ sighed Imm regretfully, ‘but I can’t see any problem here, I just can’t see it. Tell me about it, give me a feel,’ he suggested.
‘Wow, this is weird,’ Narr and Ob said together.
‘Listen, when the broadband is off we cannot work or socialise, we cannot order pizza, we cannot watch movies,’ said Narr.
‘And porn,’ added Ob. ‘Yes, and porn,’ agreed Narr. ‘This is a disaster, can’t you see it?’ he asked.
‘No, I can’t, but give me a minute, I may improve. It may take some time,’ smiled Imm ‘Just lay down and look at the sky and the sun and have a drink.’
Narr and Ob followed. They both needed some rest. It all was so tiring, banging at a problem as hard as a rock, with an impending headache. After another few minutes Diff was back from the bathroom and dropped on an empty bed closing his eyes immediately.
And then it happen. Something like a bliss coming from the clear sky connecting them in a strange way bringing a relief for Narr and Ob and a ray of understanding for Diff and Imm. The big black, silent screen had faded out from Narr’s and Ob’s minds resolving the tension and letting love and calm flow straight into their hearts. A vague realisation had slowly emerged in Diff’s and Imm’s heads. It felt like a shadow of solidity in an ocean of softness, a gentle current in an unsettled sea, an almost indistinct path through an Amazon jungle.
Their minds joined in a perfect constellation bringing calm and love in to their hearts. They felt connected, in harmony, surfing on the same wave of the cosmic energy flowing towards them from the sun.
None of them knew how long it lasted. They all felt something had happened and started breathing deeply with excitement.
‘Yes, yes, I know what to do,’ shouted Narr jumping from the sun bed. ‘I know it too, and I was first,’ followed him Ob. ‘And we should write it down before we forget,’ added Narr quickly. ‘Wait,’ Ob stopped him ‘but what is it, what’s your solution?’
‘Wow, I can see many. There is not only one. There are many ways in different directions and each one seems exciting to me now,’ said Narr. ‘Wow, I will have to draw a mind map to make it less complicated!’
‘This is cool!’ agreed Ob. ‘But for me it is different. The broadband is not a problem any more, I forgot why it was a problem. It is just another way we communicate and order stuff but we are not confined to it anyhow. Wow, this is cool. It is like we were reborn again as post broadband people. Like inner city cavemen, fighting for survival in an urban jungle, without digital connection. Hard copies only, please!’ laughed Ob pretending to do a computer voice. ‘This is really cool, I love it!’ he smiled.
Imm and Diff opened their eyes and looked around.
‘Something interesting happened to me too,’ said Diff ‘I was focused on thinking about life without the broadband. It was weird to be focused for so long. You know, I don’t do it often. I mean, I do, but it always gets chaotic and I can’t put things together,’ he scratched his head. ‘And you know what? I liked it. To be focused on something for longer than the blink of an eye. I had a few clear ideas about what I should do with my life without the broadband. I can play my banjo on the street again or paint on the glass. I used to love it but I had forgotten about it. It was quite good money actually. Wow, it all makes sense to me now. Cool isn’t it?’ he smiled.
And the last to say something was Imm. He sat up slowly on the sun bed and opened his eyes.
‘I’ve just discovered something,’ he said, ‘and I can see it,’ he squinted his eyes. ‘In my mind, there is a picture of the goal I would like to achieve. I have never had any goals in my life and now, I can see it clearly. I would like to help people solve their problems with ease, without effort, with pleasure and joy. This is what I would like to do. This is the plan. The first real plan in my life!’ Imm cried with excitement.
They all smiled. They understood that something extensive had just happened. Their personalities had complimented in the perfect constellation. It appeared that everyone had something important to share and it made a difference for all of them.
Narr found more than just one way to do things and could see the bigger picture for the first time in his life.
Diff learned that he should focus on things he loves to make his life more organised.
Ob felt truly connected with someone for the first time in his life, he solved the problem without replacing it by a new one.
Imm had visualised a goal in the future and a path he wanted to follow to make his life more purposeful and meaningful.
They realised that they are more likely to stay happy when they are influencing and learning from one another and they decided to spend more time on Imm’s terrace. Together they were perfect, living on the same top floor …
or maybe in the same head.
I hope you have enjoyed the story. It is very straight forward, four different characters and their quick transformation on the magic terrace. The main quality of this terrace, as you surely noticed, was balancing personalities. This was what the magic was about.
I am sure most of you know people who behave like one of the neighbours. They are around us. You have also possibly recognised some of your own behaviours. As you know there are bits of Narr, Diff, Ob and Imm in most of us. There are some areas in our life when we behave like Ob (competing in sport), sometimes we are Imms (loving someone unconditionally). We are perfectionists like Narr (planing a busy day) or chaotic like Diff (relaxing on holidays). The main message from the story is that we need to stay balanced to become happier and more fulfilled with our lives. Thank to practicing flexible attention we can do it without the magic terrace.