ZEN AND THE ART OF …
IF you have not read Robert M. Pirsig’s Book.. circa late 1975.. when I was living and working in West Germany.. “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” .. I suggest you attempt it.. it took me four tries to get it..
The INSTANT I pull my hotel room door shut and turn the key.. by listening ever so carefully.. I can hear all of Archy’s relatives SQUEELING.. “HE is gone and now let’s all of us RANSACK HIS PLACE!”
ATTITUDE CAPTAIN.. THINK OF Archy and Don Marquis and Mehitabel .. would THEY want you to feel ill about Archy’s relatives.. we think not..
ZEN AND THE ART OF.. CROSSING THE INTERSECTION FROM HELL.
I must cross this intersection from Hell.. well that is IF I want to get here to this Internet Cafe.. and I want to do it ALIVE AND UNINJURED..
I just re-adjusted my strategy.. heretofore.. over the years.. I have always done it thusly.. I see an opening in the traffic.. and I go for the opening.. letting.. allowing.. the traffic dictate to me..
Just now I decided that I was going to ZEN the crossing..
I went first to the first crossing.. NOT to the traffic opening.. and carefully.. and patiently.. waited until the ONE FIRST CROSSING was safe to navigate.. having done that..
I went and navigated the next crossing.. NOT looking at any traffic except that immediately before me..
Then I finished the journey off by navigating the final crossing that crosses two lanes of A.J.C. BOSE Road.. a major road thoroughfare..
This was pretty sane.. it really simplified the journey.. I may adopt this as my new strategy.. this one way.. is but one of four alternates I can choose from.. and have been so choosing based ONLY upon the traffic open windows.. here I decide my window and then I WAIT for my window to be traffic free and safe.. we ARE TALKING RELATIVELY SAFE HERE..
NO METHOD is totally safe because of the vehicles (bicycles and motorcycles being the worst) going the WRONG WAY on the streets.. and these vicious sudden U-Turns right in the traffic flow.. you are looking.. you are concentrating on looking right and BAM .. something flies past you from your left .. that something going the wrong way..
ZEN AND THE ART OF .. staying RELATIVELY healthy by avoiding germs..
IT CANNOT BE DONE PERFECTLY.. 70% would be the best you can achieve.. IF that.. for instance the very air you breathe can infect you seriously.. for instance.. you are constantly covered with a layer of fecal material from the dust.. THEREFORE.. ONE MINUTE.. ONE TINY.. ONE ITTY BITTY SKIN BREAK.. and your very life is in danger..
In very late December of 1990.. while doing God’s work at Mother Teresa’s Mission in Howrah.. on a Sunday Morning.. Wayne Monkman slipped and fell.. within one hour his elbow had swollen to the size of a grapefruit and the infection was raging.. Wayne was airlifted to Singapore and I never saw him again.. I do not even know if Wayne lived or died..
This morning.. I asked the waiter to re-toast my toast (INDIA TOAST is warm white bread.. MY toast is one step from disintegration by fire..) so he calmly.. with his hands.. and Lord knows IF the Lord himself knows.. where his hands have last been.. he picked up my bread and walked off.. and back he came.. my now lightly toasted white bread.. in his hands.. IN HIS HANDS.. he was handling my food in his bare hands..
BEING A BEAR FOR PUNISHMENT.. I sent him back.. and said NOW re-toast the re-toasted white bread.. back he came .. with the re-toasted re-toasted white bread IN HIS HANDS..
“GOOD!” I exclaimed.. “NOW bring me one more piece”.. he did.. with the now new toasted bread.. IN HIS HANDS..
AND YOU ALL THINK THE WAITER SERVING YOU YOUR SOUP WITH HIS THUMB IN THE SOUP IS A JOKE.. OR YOUR CHOW MEIN WITH HIS THUMB IN IT.. IS A JOKE IN THE FUNNY PAPERS..
Howard Hughes.. the LATE Howard Hughes.. would NEVER have ‘made it’ here I don’t think..
When Alan Rimberg got run over on his motorcycle in early January of 1991.. IN THE HOSPITAL.. let me repeat that.. IN THE HOSPITAL.. three (3) days later.. he was still wearing the clothing he was wearing when he was hit.. EXCEPT THEY HAD CUT OFF THE LOWER PANT LEG SO THEY COULD OPERATE ON THAT PART OF ALAN..
I ALWAYS ATTEMPT to carry with me.. on my person .. alcohol based hand sanitizer.. this is strong stuff.. and for my money.. good stuff.. I use it constantly..
THE MICRO SECOND I GET A SKIN BREAK I FLOOD THE BREAK WITH THIS HAND SANITIZER..
YOU WANT SCARY.. HERE IS SCARY.. (scare.. as in.. to be frightened..)
Three days ago I DISCOVERED that I had two bleeding scratches under my trousers.. above my left knee.. that were old enough that they were ALREADY SCABBING AND ALREADY WELL INTO HEALING OVER..
And I had been blissfully and I had been totally UNAWARE of these major skin breaks..
NOW FULLY AND COMPLETELY AND CLEANLY HEALED..
MAN ALIVE.. DID I ‘CATCH A BREAK’ OR WHAT?!
In closing .. DANNY Z. 48073.. I am so happy.. Mister India Bag.. sitting proudly in HIS CLOSET in my room is so happy.. and we are BOTH SO GRATEFUL TO YOU DANNY for rescuing this trip for us..
NEVER IN THIS LIFETIME OF MINE.. and I remain HAUNTED BY HIS IMAGE to this moment.. have I seen one of my inanimate possessions MORE devastated.. more destroyed.. more lifeless.. more in the throes of death.. more sad.. more stunned.. more in disbelief.. more crushed.. than when I suddenly.. in the MIDST of packing Mister India Bag.. he was just ‘glowing with pleasure’ at the time.. EAGERLY looking forward to HIS trip back to India.. to the thing he was born to do..
When on Sunday evening of August 21st.. I sudden dumped him out and discarded him.. CAST HIM ASIDE.. WITH NO EXPLANATION.. saying to him.. “You will not be making the trip!” .. and I began putting HIS Bobbseys into another suitcase..
DANNY Z 48073.. IF that memory still haunts me.. think of where I would be HAD YOU NOT GOTTEN HIM TO ME IN SAN CARLOS ..
IT TRULY WOULD HAVE IMPACTED MY MENTAL STATE DURING THIS ENTIRE TRIP.. and to some extent.. it is.. since I keep thinking about it.. but in NO WAY what it would been had you not.. on your GIGANTIC WHITE HORSE come to our rescue..
THANKS AGAIN DANNY.. THANKS AGAIN..
Over and out with great LOVE on Monday.. September the 19th.. 2011.. Cap
- SEP 18, 11 .. THE DINKEY BIRD ..
- MONSOON RAINS .. Sep 19/11