Tuesday, July 5, 2011

a noise like a carrot

Once upon a time, there was a wave of what might be called jokes that rested in the ridiculous. Usually they came in the form of a question. For example, Q. What's black and dangerous and lives in a tree? A. A crow with a machine gun.

The one that nags at my mind this morning is, Q. How do you catch a rabbit? A. Hide behind a tree and make a noise like a carrot.

A noise like a carrot -- when I grow up, I'd like to be able to do that.

Last night, a friend called from a Zen center out west. Although she didn't say so, I assumed she was calling secretly during sesshin -- an intensive retreat. She was crying. She was scared. She said, "I shouldn't have called," though it wasn't clear to me if she shouldn't have called because of the omerta of sesshin or because calling was an impolite imposition or some combination of both. Or neither. She offered no details.

I couldn't find a thing to say. I guess just being on the other end of the phone was some consolation -- just listening -- but it felt somehow inadequate ... inadequately silent.

Carrots don't care (that I know of) whether they are adequate or inadequate. They are carrots. Whether talking or silent ... just carrots. Talking or silent, I'd like to be able to do it ... carrot-fashion, human- and-humane-fashion.

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