Funny how, if you don't tell people who you are, then they don't know. But if you do tell them who you are, they still don't know. I suppose it's something to keep in mind when someone tells you who they are.
What brought this to mind was someone who walked up to me at a quilt exhibit this afternoon and said I was the "Buddhist monk" who stood on the peace picket line on Saturdays. I'm not a Buddhist monk, though I do wear a robe and rakusu when standing on the picket line (a guy in a dress gets people's attention and from there, perhaps, they can think a little about the peace objectives of the entire group). Several people have designated me, without asking, as "father," as if I were a Catholic, I guess. And one fellow greets me on Saturdays by issuing a jovial, "Hi, friar!"
Of the tens or perhaps hundreds of people I have talked to on Saturday mornings, only two or three have asked me directly what my get-up is supposed to indicate. I guess it is more fun to guess, or not be rude, or not give a shit. But even when I give anyone an abbreviated self-description as it relates to the clothes I am wearing ... what do they know?
I'm not offended by any of this. It's just interesting ... imagining that you or I might think we knew something about you or me when there are positive steppes of salient data -- stuff that reaches out as far as the eye can see and beyond -- that goes unreported. And even if it were reported, it could never reach the limits of the steppe ... not to mention the fact we'd all be bored stupid.
"Hi, friar!" will do as well as anything.
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