Category: Fables


Recipe for Innocent Immaturity

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of yearning
  • 1 cup of solitude
  • ½  cup of nonsense, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of heartbreak
  • 3 cups of wisdom
  • ½ cup pain-of-loss
  • 3 large Seeds of Faith, cracked and well beaten
  • 2 sticks of Once Upon A Time, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons of childhood
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered crazy
  • A dash of Happily Ever After (or to taste)

 

Method:

  1. Sift yearning and solitude into a large mixing heart.
  2. To the heart, add the sticks of Once Upon a Time gradually until consistency is lumpy; firm when squeezed together, but remains loose.
  3. Add to the heart the Seeds of Faith and blend with a dream-mixer on low speed until smooth.
  4. To the heart, blend in childhood, then let stand in the refrigerator for approximately 20 to 25 years, perhaps a little longer depending on your fridge.
  5. Remove from fridge and allow batter to come to room temperature.
  6. While batter is thawing, add heartbreak to a saucepan and simmer until it thickens to a syrup.  Allow to cool.
  7. Begin to blend in the heartbreak to the batter, little by little, at medium speed.  This is the most vital ingredient.

    NB:  BE SURE NOT TO ADD TOO MUCH HEARTBREAK ALL AT ONCE OTHERWISE THE BATTER MAY CONGEAL AND LOSE UNIFORMITY.

  8. With a mixing spoon, turn into the batter the pain-of-loss.  The batter should now have the consistency of dough.  Knead the dough well, pounding it and flipping it over and over several times.
  9. Add wisdom to the dough very slowly, continuing to kneed and pound, as necessary.
  10. Knead and pound the dough some more, and then some more.  And when you think you’ve finished kneading and pounding the dough, knead and pound some more.  This is also crucial.
  11. Place the dough into a deep baking pan, greased with a little Once Upon A Time and well powdered with crazy so as to avoid the dough sticking to the pan and burning.
  12. In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, toast the finely chopped nonsense until golden-brown.
  13. Sprinkle over the top of the dough some of the toasted finely chopped nonsense and save the rest for garnishing later.
  14. Bake dough at 350 degrees Celsius for 5 years.  Some ovens may take a little longer.
  15. Once the loaf-cake is done, remove from oven and cool completely before garnishing with the remaining toasted nonsense and sprinkle with Happily Ever After to taste.

 

Serves exactly 2 people.  Loaf may require frosting depending on the audience being served.

 

 *****

 

You ask me why I behave so immaturely most of the time; why I speak with a repulsive stutter of nonsense and utter craziness.  The answer is that this ‘immaturity’ is the desperate clinging on to whatever childhood innocence I can recollect to shield me from Maturity that is a bullying bombardment of heartbreak and pain-of-loss.  I quiver at the thought of losing someone yet again, so I block myself off to the opportunity, regardless of how much I’d like to move on with the dynamic of life.  Catch-Twenty-Two of Khan-flict.

If you dare to crack my shell of immaturity that I so often retreat into, you will find a dusty, untouched library of wisdom that goes by ignored simply because not very many people bother to read anymore.

This is my damage.  What’s yours?

(C)

Jesus laughed a lot.  John wept a lot  (May the Peace and Blessings of God be upon them both).  John said to Jesus, “You have become exceedingly carefree against all the subtle deceits, that you laugh so much.”  Jesus replied, “You have become exceedingly unmindful of the subtle, mysterious, wonderful graces and loving kindness of God, that you weep so much.”  One of God’s saints was present at this incident.  He asked God, “Which of these two has the higher station?”  God answered, “He who thinks better of Me.”  In other words, “I come when you think of Me.  Each person has an image and an idea of Me.  Whatever picture he forms of Me, there I am.  I fill that picture where God dwells.  I care nothing for that point of view where God does not exist.  Cleanse your thoughts, O human, for they are My abode and dwelling place.”

Now test yourself as to weeping and laughter, fasting and prayer, solitude and company, and the rest.  Which of these is more profitable to you?  Whichever brings you straighter on the road and gains you the greatest advancement, choose that task.  Take counsel from your heart, even though others may disagree.  The truth is within you.  Compare it with what others say.  When they agree, then follow that course.

~ Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi (Fihi Maa Fihi, Discourses of Rumi, Discourse 11)

 

I am as my servant thinks I am.

If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself;

And if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly greater than his;

And if he draws near to me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length;

And if he comes to me walking, I go to him running.

[ Hadeeth Qudsi on the authority of Abu Huraira (ra) ]

 

This, too, shall pass

 

Once a king called upon all of his wise men and asked them, “Is there a mantra which works in every situation, in every circumstance, in every place and in every time – in every joy, every sorrow, every defeat, and every victory – one answer for all questions?  Something which can help me when none of you is able to advise me? Tell me, is there any mantra?”

All the wise men were puzzled by the King’s question.  After a lengthy discussion, an old man suggested something which appealed to all of them.  They went to the King and gave him a ring with words engraved into it, with a condition that the King was not to read it out of curiosity.  Only if, in extreme danger, when the King finds himself alone and there seems to be no way out, only then he can read it.  The King wore the ring without reading the engraving.

Some time later, the neighbors attacked the kingdom.  The King and his army fought bravely but lost the battle.  The King fled on his horse and the enemies followed him.  The King found himself standing at the mouth of a deep ditch.  If he jumped into it, there would be no way out.  The sound of the enemy horses were approaching fast and the King became restless.  There was nowhere else to go.

The King remembered his ring and about the engraving.  He decided to read the message.

“This, too, shall pass.”

The King read it again and again until something struck him.  Yes! This, too, will pass.  Only a few days ago, I was enjoying my kingdom; I was the mightiest of all the Kings.  Yet today, the Kingdom and all its pleasures are gone.  I am trying to flee from my enemies.  But just as those days of luxuries have gone, this time of danger will pass, too.  Calm came over the King.  He remained still and silent.  The King looked around at the place where he was standing and realized how beautiful it was.  He had never known that such a beautiful place existed in his Kingdom.

The revelation of the ring’s message had a great effect on him.  He relaxed and forgot about his pursuing enemies.  After a while, he realized that the noise of galloping horses had receded and that his enemies had lost him.

The King gathered himself and reorganized his shambled forces and fought again.  He defeated the enemy and reclaimed his empire.  When he returned to the city after the victory, he was received with much fanfare.  The whole capital was rejoicing and everyone was in a festive mood.  Flowers rained down upon the King from every house, from every terrace as he trotted by.  People were dancing and singing.  In this moment the King thought to himself, “I am one of the bravest and greatest Kings.  It is not easy to defeat me.”  In all of the celebration an ego emerged in the King.

Then a ray of sunlight caught the King’s ring and sharply flashed into his eye reminding him of its message, “This, too, shall pass.”

He lowered his gaze and his valiant expression changed to one of humility.  He realized, again, that if this, too, is going to pass, it is not yours.  The defeat was not yours.  The victory was not yours.  You are just a player.  Everything passes by.  We are witnesses of all of this.  We are the beholders.

Happiness comes and goes.  Sorrow comes and goes.  And Life?

This, too, shall pass.

 

 

The Living Dead



MOTHER


One day I was listening to the AM radio.  I heard a song:  "Oh, I Long to See My Mother in the Doorway."  By God!  I said, I understand that song.  I have often longed to see my mother in the doorway.  As a matter of fact, she did stand frequently in various doorways looking at me.  She stood one day, just so, at the front door, the darkness of the hallway behind her.  It was New Year’s Day.  She said sadly, If you come home at 4 A.M. when you’re seventeen, what time will you come home when you’re twenty?  She asked this question without humour or meanness.  She had begun her worried preparations for death.  She would not be present, she thought, when I was twenty.  So she wondered.

Another time she stood in the doorway of my room.  I had just issued a political manifesto attacking the family’s position on the Soviet Union.  She said, Go to sleep for godsakes, you damn fool, you and your Communist ideas.  We saw them already, Papa and me, in 1905.  We guessed it all.

At the door of the kitchen she said, You never finish your lunch.  You run around senselessly.  What will become of you?

Then she died.

Naturally for the rest of my life I longed to see her, not only in doorways, in a great number of places – in the dining room with my aunts, at the window looking up and down the block, in the country garden among zinnias and marigolds, in the living room with my father.

They sat in comfortable leather chairs.  They were listening to Mozart.  They looked at one another amazed.  It seemed to them that they’d just come over on the boat.  They’d just learned the first English words.  It seemed to them that he had just proudly handed in a 100 percent correct exam to the American anatomy professor.  It seemed as though she’d just quit the shop for the kitchen.

I wish I could see her in the doorway of the living room.

She stood there a minute.  Then she sat beside him.  They owned an expensive record player.  They were listening to Bach.  She said to him, Talk to me a little.  We don’t talk so much anymore.

I’m tired, he said.  Can’t you see?  I saw maybe thirty people today.  All sick, all talk talk talk talk.  Listen to the music, he said.  I believe you once had perfect pitch.  I’m tired, he said.

Then she died.




~ Grace Paley


Where did we come from?

A young boy, filled to the brim with curiosity, approached his father one evening stumped with a very important question.  "Daddy," the boy began, "where did people come from?"  The father sat his son comfortably on his lap and with a smile replied, "My dear son, we humans are children of our Parents, Adam and Eve."  Listening attentively, eyes wide open, the boy took in every last detail of his father’s story.  "So you see, this is how God created humans.  Does that answer your question, son?"  With a yawn, the boy nodded, satisfied with the answer and, with toy action figure in hand, trotted off to bed.

Like most children, not quite satisfied with the answer from one parent, the boy decided to ask his mother the same question the very next day.  Tugging on his mother’s pant leg, the boy asked, "Mommy, where did people come from?"  Caught between a laugh and a look of concern the mother replied, "Son, where do you get these questions from?  Where do I start?  Well, the theory of evolution says that…".  And so, the mother continued to teach her son about the theory of evolution and about how it applies to humans.  After a few minutes, the son, seeming satisfied, ran along to finish his day doing what most children his age usually do – play.

Later that day, the son returned to his father with a distraught look upon his face.

"My son, what’s the matter?"

"Well dad, you told me that we are the children of Adam and Eve, but mother told me that people evolved from monkeys."

Laughing, the father answered, "Well, my boy, I don’t know about your mother, but I told you from where my side of the family came from!"

(No disrespect to Moms out there.  The Parental roles could have easily been switched!)

**I’M A MONKEY**