Cooper: Art, or the deal of power?

Knock knock … knock knock … knock knock …

“How frustrating!” the blue gazelle with rose-colored spots commiserated with herself.

“Peace! Wake up, come out; it’s December twenty-first!” wailed Mizzywonk so loud several rose-colored spots enlarged as if about to pop.

“Oh, darn unicorn, why is this so difficult,” she scolded to herself.

“Unicorn, Unicorn. Wake up, Wake up! I’ve been here for hours pounding on the door. I’m cold and you will be late,” she pleaded.

“It’s the one day of the year you must get up. If you don’t, there won’t be time.”

Peace nuzzled into the warmth of mown hay stored in the twilight between the moon and the sun.

Mizzywonk heard the stirring from inside the cave. “At last,” she sighed.

She pressed her ear against the door and heard what sounded like a long yawn.

“I hear you, I hear you,” she said accusingly, “You’re awake. Open the door. I’m cold and soon it will be too late.”

Mizzywonk heard the thud of feet on the floor and movement toward the door. The lock clicked and the door slowly opened.

A very sleepy unicorn peeked through the small opening. All Mizzywonk could see was one eye heavy with long eyelashes that seemed to sweep the air.

“What do you want?” asked Peace in a tone at best unusual for Peace.

“PEACE! It’s your job to remove fear from the holidays and bring magic to all the children. How could you forget?” Mizzywonk’s emotions fighting between annoyance and total disbelief.

The art of the deal

“No deal, not this year. I’m going back to bed.” Peace shut the door.

“Oh, my gosh. What’s gotten into you? Have you gone crazy!”

“No, I’ve been reading ‘The Art of the Deal’ (Donald J. Trump 1987) and I realized that I have not been using my power. I have been giving it all away and to what end!” demanded Peace. “I could be a winner instead of a loser!”

“Is this a serious conversation? What are you thinking?” a disbelieving Mizzywonk shouted and three more rose-colored spots seemed about to burst.

“That’s the point! I am thinking and should be thinking big. That’s right from the book.

I also will no longer be attached to one option or approach. I will negotiate the best deal. I can wait too until they will give me anything to have Peace.”

“But, Peace, your only option for magic for children is moments of happiness and peace. What will you negotiate?” asked Mizzywonk.

“I don’t want to be a loser, a pushover for peace,” pleaded Peace.

Mizzywonk paused and sighed, “What deal can these children make?’

“Some children are afraid that they are not wanted because they are somehow different and are unwanted by their parents or their countries. Some children are living in countries at war and are surrounded by death and destruction. People are making deals all the time that don’t consider their safety, let alone their happiness. Who will deal for them, if not you?” finished Mizzywonk.

The art of power

No sound came from behind the door for several minutes.

Finally, Peace came to the door again. “But I will never be seen as clever, smart and effective if I am not a successful deal maker. I, Peace, will not be respected and accepted, let alone wealthy beyond belief. Peace will be ignored in deal making.”

“As will the children be ignored who will die from bombs thrown by countries fighting over the land on which their homes are. As will the children be ignored who will wait in fear until they learn the terms of the deal that will plot their servitude or deportation. As will the children be ignored who are different and afraid to go to school,” recounted Mizzywonk.

The door opened and Mizzywonk saw that Peace’s eyelashes were full of sloppy tears.

Peace said sadly, “but I will not have the art of the deal.”

“Wait right here. I will bring you another art.” Mizzywonk ran off and quickly returned with a book, “The Art of Power” (Thick Nhat Hanh 2007).

She proceeded to read from the book.

“So we have to recognize the truth that if there is no love or no deep motivation to serve this love, then no matter how rich or powerful you are, you still can’t be happy.

This is true not only for individuals but also for nations.

What is the use of more money if you suffer more?

A nation may become very rich, very developed, and be called a superpower, but the people in that country still suffer deeply. The desire for material wealth becomes more important than the health and happiness of the people.

To me a civilized society is one where people have the time to live their daily lives deeply, to love and take care of their family and community.”

Mizzywonk put the book down and waited.

“I have love,” said Peace, “I cannot be Peace without love. That’s the deal.”

“That’s all you have; that’s the deal,” confirmed Mizzywonk.

“OK,” Peace said as if it were no big deal, “I better be on my way. Children are waiting. I have the magic! Don’t wait up for me,” Peace shouted as he left for his journey.

Mizzywonk collapsed in relief and lay sprawled on the doorstep of Peace’s cave. She felt around painful places on her body and realized she lost at least three rose-colored spots.

“Not a bad deal given the outcome,” she thought and fell into a peaceful slumber.

Peace, Love and Magic now and throughout the new year to all!

Bertha D. Cooper is retired from a 40-plus year career as a health care administrator focusing on the delivery system as a whole. She still does occasional consulting. She is a featured columnist at the Sequim Gazette. Reach her at