A place where money cannot live
April 10, 2009, 8:29 pm
Filed under: Conversations, Conversations2, Uncategorized | Tags: ,


Madame Pickwick looked out over the rocky ledge of her quarters.

Sand stretched into the distance as far as the eye could see.

The atmosphere in Zephyron was flimsy, so thin in fact, that it was possible to observe the other planets of the solar system. Huge round spheres floated past at regular intervals.

“This is my friend Ulla, she is here with me to ask something of you Madame.”

“Ask.” Madame Pickwick looked at the outline of the person standing next to Siri.

“Am I dreaming ?”

“You are, but you are dreaming true.”

“I would like to have a child. I have sought to have child but I have never fallen pregnant. Can you help ?”

“I may help, if it is permitted, and if you are willing to pay the price.”

“What shall I pay you with ?

You don’t use money do you ?”

“No we don’t have any use for such things.”

“How then shall I pay for you help ?”

“What can you offer in exchange ?”

“I do not understand, Ulla replied.”

“Then you are wise, child. As in your world, here we also value work, we value service. Only we do not measure it in time, nor do we use numbers to place a value on service, for how you can you measure that which is given from the heart ?”

She smiled at Ulla.

“Don’t worry my child.

We only take what is offered in love, and offered freely.

You know enough to understand that an exchange is required in all things.”

At this point Madame Pickwick left the room.

She returned after a while and smiled at Ulla.

It is permitted, though it remains to be seen if you are willing and able to pay the price, she said.

Ulla waited and said nothing. She looked out over the desert.

“What do you want to offer in exchange ?” the Madame asked.

Ulla thought for a while.

“What do people usually give ?”

“There is NO ‘usual’, it depends what you would LIKE to exchange. The greater the gift, the greater the exchange.”

Madame poured tea into tiny cups for each of them.

“In your world, you feel that giving diminishes you and you want to give as little as you can and get as much as you can.”

Siri smiled and looked at Ulla.

Ulla looked at her friend.

“You are right,” she said.

“You told me things were different here.”

The Madame nodded at them and gestured for them to feel free to drink.

“You can give as little or as much as you like, my child. We will not think less of thee for giving little, nor more of thee for giving much. It beeth thine heart that thou dealeth with.”

Ulla hesitated, “I am curious, do some people give nothing ?”

” ‘Curiousity’ I cannot answer, however should it be thine true question you may obtain a reply.”

Ulla shook her head.

“It does not matter then,” she said.

Siri and Madame Pickwick looked at each other and smiled.

In a small hesitant voice Ulla asked: “Do I have to loose an eye, or a leg in exchange ?”

“No my child, unless this is what you truly believe and want.

You may even give in exchange that which would be called ‘success’ in your world.”

“‘Success’ can be a payment ? I mean a fair exchange ?”

“And too much money can be a punishment,” Madame added.

Ulla shook her head in puzzlement.

“What if I choose success, how can that be a fair exchange ?”

Now Madame Pickwick in her turn shook her head slowly and stood up. She put hand on Ulla’s shoulder and walked with her to the very edge of the cliff.

They looked down. It was a long long way to the bottom, so far that the rocks looked blurred. The Madame picked up a small rock and threw it down. Soon it was lost to sight. They waited. Eventually a tiny dry clicking sound reached them.

“Are you afraid ?” Madame asked Ulla ?


“Why not ?”

“I feel I am safe.”

“Even at the very edge of this precipice ?”


“You feel you are safe, and you are safe, because you have not asked ‘what if ?’. You do not ask ‘what if I should fall ?’ or ‘what if I should be pushed ?’.  You see, I do not answer ‘what if’ questions here.

‘What if’ leads to fear, and wastes energy.

There is a never ending infinite supply of ‘what if’s’. If you truly desire to know then give a fair exchange and find out for yourself.

Then you WILL know what happens if the ‘what if’ becomes the ‘what is’.”

Siri spoke then, “it is time to return, in her world she awakens.”

Madame Pickwick walked back to the table and sat in her chair. “I will see thee again, then we will talk more of thine request and its exchange. Take thine time my dear child.”

They bowed and Madame returned the bow in kind.

“A most interesting child,” she murmured to herself when they had disappeared.


A few nights later Siri and Ulla returned again.

“May I ask you something ?” Ulla said.

“Certainly”, Madame Pickwick gestured for them to sit down and poured tea for all three of them.

“In exchange for a child, I would like to give ten years of my life.”

The Madame looked at her and continued sipping her tea.

“Siri, would you please explain ?”

Siri looked surprised but then spoke: “You are thinking of a punishing sacrifice. We don’t want to accept that from you. Can I suggest something else ?”

Ulla nodded.

“You could give, your time to raise the child in love and care, and you could give all resentment and unhappiness in sacrifice.”

Now Ulla looked surprised. “How can joy and contentment be a sacrifice ? A sacrifice should be something pleasant I give up, and something unpleasant I accept.”

“It may be those things, at some part of a person’s development. For you, this is something to leave behind.”

“But joy and love and a job well done as a sacrifice ?” Ulla shook her head in astonishment.

“You may have to give up a career, you may have to give up resentment and anger.”