I took a Fool’s Errand this weekend while I was attending Beltaine at Laurelin Retreat. A Fool’s Errand often has a specific task, but the way one goes about accomplishing the task is anything but linear.
I took along a companion for this Fool’s Errand, a youth whom I shall call Noodleman. Noodleman has a certain bubbling, mirthful chaos in his personality, and I am very curious if this trait is going to settle out as he becomes a man, or if he has the makings of a Fool.
We were searching for a stone and we didn’t look particularly hard for it. When we did find it, we ended up leaving the stone someplace where we promised each other we wouldn’t forget about it, and ended up returning by another way and forgot it just the same. The stone was not offended, for stones do best when permitted to watch and wait.
But I did take Noodleman’s measure as thoroughly as a priestess with a skein of yarn might. I learned about how his thoughts were organized in his head, and I carefully shared some of the mysteries of Foolishness to see how he would respond. Foolish mysteries tend to be right out there in the open, but they’re so fnordward-thinking that few people ever notice them. The natural Fool will intuitively understand the rules that a Fool lives by.
Not every Fool’s Errand that I have undertaken has been with a companion, and most of my companions are not, and never will be, Fools. As a “Mentor in Mayhem” (dubbed thus by a mother to be named later) I am thrilled if a Fool’s Errand can be a rite of passage and a journey of discovery like it was for Noodleman.
So is Noodleman a Fool? Only his hairdresser knows for sure.