A New Path to Enlightenment

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Matt has been hired by a plumbing company to sell toilets.  His old man who works for the same company got him the job. What could Matt do but accept? He was good at nothing else.

Larry, a hotshot salesman goes out with him one day and lays it on the line: “I don’t tolerate laziness. It’s a form of treason,” he says.

Matt says it’s not his fault he’s not pulling in big figures. He has no sales experience and no one is willing to train him.

Larry shoots back, “Baptism by fire.”

But Matt whines and says it’s been over a year and he still has no idea what he’s doing.

Then Larry comes back with this: “Your job is to go out there every day and get your face kicked in. It’s the only path to Enlightenment.”

 

I don’t know if Larry and the Buddha were talking about the same kind of Enlightenment and if they were would the Buddha have agreed with Larry’s method?

Is Larry right? Or can’t you find Enlightenment through the toilet trade?

Are some trades/professions more inimical to Enlightenment than others? Can a politician find Enlightenment? would it help him in his job?

 

 

Which Came First?

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The trouble is I can’t let go.

I go in for a scan and am and told

they will contact me in due course.

Within days I hear nothing and think of phoning back.

How many days does it take to read a scan?

Persistence is a virtue but so too is Patience.

How to balance one against the other?

I phone back anyway.

I’m put on hold.

I’m always put on hold when I practice persistence.

Perhaps it’s a lesson.

Perhaps I should listen..

When does being persistent become pesky?

It’s tricky being human.

In Praise of Slowness

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It was World Turtle Day last week.

I was a little slow off the mark

But I’m onto it now penning these lines.

I’d write a little more; trouble is

things are whizzing by , my head is spinning.

I’ve got to slow down, take a pit stop,

Pace myself a little. Whew!

I should be done by next World Turtle Day

But I wouldn’t want to stick my neck out.

Looking for Dodos

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I was walking through the new state-of-the-art library

Looking for a book of poems, any book of poems.

It was like looking for dodos in the zoo

or passenger pigeons in the sky.

Do you still keep poetry books? I asked the librarian.

I’m not sure , she said.

She had to do a search

Then called the chief librarian who came with a swagger

Looking for that rarest thing— a poetry book.

Here, she said. Here they are.

They were squeezed Between ‘War’ and ‘Sports’,

The whole Western World’s canon reduced

to ten books on a tiny shelf.

And the ultimate irony?

There were more books on extinct animals than poetry.

I checked.

 

do you see evidence of the death of poetry?

when’s the last time you bought a poetry book? or borrowed one?

 

Lapsed into a Comma

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The very long sentence in an effort to beat its predecessors ran on and on and on over fifty five and a half pages after which time it lapsed into a comma, then another, and another till semi-colonized by tedium it slowed right down; sighed; lurched to the left then came to an abrupt full stop.

 

what’s the longest sentence you’ve read or written?

do you enjoy long sentences? do you occasionally try them just for fun?

how long do you think a sentence should be? what are its natural constraints?

Libraries Used to be Safe Places

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All quiet on the Western Front? I asked one of the security guards who had been involved in an incident ten minutes before.

Yes, he said but you could tell he was a little jumpy.

He and two of his mates had wrestled to the ground an ice addict who was bothering one of the patrons.

Amongst much kicking, punching and hurling of abuse, he was shoved out of the library.

I pulled out my phone to take a film. One of the guards seeing me, said: No. Put it away, mate.

So I did.

I wish it were as easy to put away some of the stuff that is out there but it isn’t. It isn’t.

Archangel

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My neighbour worried I was having a meltdown. She came by one evening with her three Pomeranians in tow as my brother-in-law pulled in to pick me up for a barbecue at their place. She assured me there was no need to panic, that I could stay as long as I needed till I found a place of my own. The front porch light shone down on us. Wings of light enfolded her as the dogs wound their way around her legs.

Who was that, my brother-in-law asked.

That, I said, was the Archangel Gabriel. Deliverer of glad tidings.

Huh? my brother-in-law said as we hopped in the car.

Good news, I clarified. I get to stay.