QC Koan: If you can see to the level of thought, can you then think to the level of sight?
As a young man I worked with a partially blind 16 year-old boy who had a degree of mental deficiency. He liked to tell jokes, but people usually didn’t listen. I decided to listen:
“A man walks into a restaurant and orders a meal. He eats the meal. The waiter arrives with a check and asks him if everything was all right. A man slips on a banana.”
We both laughed. I enjoyed the way the boy reveled in telling a joke. I enjoyed his non-sequitur endings; I was surprised. We shared an unexpected joy.
“A farmer is milking his cows. That’s how we get milk. One day, the farmer is not able to get milk from the cows. His family came out to the barn to ask the farmer why there’s no milk. The farmer looks at the cow. Then he looks at his family. Pigs roll in the mud.”
The young man had a basic idea of the structure of a joke but had no clue how to connect a punch line to the body of the joke. He said whatever came into his head and started laughing. That’s why you tell the punch line, so that you can have a laugh. His laughter was infectious. He learned that we both enjoyed laughing. He just needed to say the ritual words first. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you say, so long as your intent is pure and you are able to enjoy the moment for what it has to offer. There are lots of ways to connect. Sometimes it’s just a look in the eyes that communicates. Sometimes it’s in a current that you are willing to connect with. He reminded me of the cheerfulness that can arise out of expectation – found in the innocence of unsophisticated childishness.
Based on a true story:
(Aye, there be purpose to the prattle.)
“A man is writing words onto a piece of paper. He sits in the magic writing chair and writes until the words are finished. Time passes. The man is completely naked.”
And it came to pass that there were only little slivers of soap in the shower. And he remembered reminding himself just the day before to put a fresh bar of soap into the shower. But yea, he did not. And the little slivers could not be coaxed into a larger whole, so that it happened that no soap could be made useful; the little pieces slid out of his hand and down the drain. Being resourceful, he used shampoo as if it were soap, vowing not to be so wantonly forgetful when the next opportunity to be made clean became manifest.
Sometimes there is a great confusion as to where things really are. And men, as well as women, will not always know when their cupboards are bare of perceived necessities. And they will forget to put the missing items on their shopping lists or gift opportunity wish lists, and neglect to secure that which they took for granted. And even combs will turn up missing from the places where they were definitely put just the night before. And the people may even come to fear for their bathrooms, lest all dirty bathrooms be taken up in a “bathroom only” rapture on Bathroom Judgment Day, leaving them without a proper place to powder their noses or launder their birthday suit. But not to worry, bathrooms are rarely misplaced and never raptured. No, it is for lack of soap that we should mope, for the filthy cannot cope. But there will always be hope for soap, for does not Godliness prefer to be next to cleanliness? Therefore there will always be hope for soap, because pigs fall in the mud, and men also, and women also, as well as children and their pets (but presumably not ETs or the bees knees). And a bar of soap shall lead them, but not alone, for we live in a land with water. Isn’t it amazing that we live in a land with water? And the people will be happy, albeit not for very long – because it is difficult to remain happy about that which you take for granted.