Saturday, January 27, 2018

grandma's ready wisdoms

I remember libraries as places where row upon row of colorful or faded spines sat next-by-next and offered extended information, both whimsical and wholesome. Today I wonder what libraries might look like if their wisdoms were as distilled and sufficient as the perhaps-real, perhaps-concocted grandmother everyone has rock and knitting in a quiet nook ... and who every now and then suggests a thing or two.

"A stitch in time saves nine," she might say while Ph.D.'s snickered at anything so trite. Trite, but true, but the emphasis might be on triteness when the matter is set next to a colorful or faded spine that had required so many man-hours of labor.

"Measure twice, cut once." What price tag had that eighteen-volume disquisition once boasted?

"Stand up. Speak up. And shut up."

"Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."

"Be prepared."

"Don't believe everything you think."

"The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

Like mini-mouse traps, the wisdom lies dormant in the mind, ready in an instant to snap down and settle egregiously delicate and complex data. Is there a situation without such a grandmother, such a mouse trap, such an answer before the question's last syllable has left those ponderous and care-so-much lips?

But of course I hate simple corks for the complex bottles I find scattered along my beach. Please tell me it is as complicated as it feels here within or as it seems along the library shelf. I already know (sort of) that I am a fool: Please don't make me more foolish. Give me some trenchant, award-winning, multi-volumed homework. I worked, I found out ... what a whiz-meister!

Why didn't I listen to the grandmother within? Think how much time I might have saved by not reading and questioning and delving and diving and ah-ha-ing. I coulda learned how to knit.

"Never point a gun at anyone" and "Don't point the gun if you can't pull the trigger."

Little mouse traps.

Big grandmother.

"Next time," I promise, "I'll listen."

But of course there is no next time.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect buddhism can be a mouse trap with a universal adapter. Something arises and we recognize it as samsara, or impermanence, dukkha. And we can then dismissively file it on a shelf without really looking at it, feeling what it does to us, and finding a way to carry that feeling until we can put it down. We can know about something without ever really knowing it. A lot of opportunities lost to fear of pain or laziness. But we can file such mindfulness failures under samsara can't we?