Archive for buddhist Middle Way

THE CHERRY BOWL

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2010 by kimmy

I never expected to find a metaphor for life in a cherry.  Somehow I believed that unless it was a Vegas-style manifestation replete with chaser lights and free drinks, it didn’t count. 

I’ve heard life described as a bowl of them, but attributed it to the songwriters’ hangover from bathtub gin.  Henderson, DeSylva and Brown wrote it in 1931, a time when you couldn’t even legally drink away the pain of the Depression.

People are queer, they’re always crowing, scrambling and rushing about;
Why don’t they stop someday, address themselves this way?
Why are we here? Where are we going? It’s time that we found out.
We’re not here to stay; we’re on a short holiday.

Life is just a bowl of cherries.
Don’t take it serious; life’s so mysterious.
You work, you save, you worry so,
But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go.
So keep repeating it’s the berries,
The strongest oak must fall,
The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries,
So live and laugh at it all.

They found humor midst global financial disaster, dust bowls and looming world war.  Were they drunk or just resigned to their fate?   It was a strange time to be alive, destructive and oddly creative, but not an era one usually associates with happy memories. 

I’ve heard life described as cherry pits as Erma Bombeck wrote in 1978, not especially a terrible time unless you factor in disco and trade embargos.  I often wonder if the malaise of that time wasn’t due to lack of dopamine, since it was constantly squandered in coke binges.  What did they have to bitch about then, that they couldn’t find their dealer?

I’ve heard now that life is either cherry or not, depending on outward appearance and social status.  Does that mean that the lumpy, discolored fruit is less tasty than the pristine?  If we must douse ourselves with pesticide and be plucked from the tree before we’re ripe just to meet shipping and industry standards, we’ll never really know who or what we are.

So what is life, a gluttonous feast of fruit or a dental nightmare of broken teeth?  Perhaps it’s not what it is, but how you approach it that matters.  If the flesh is sweet and the pit hard, you must bite gently or risk self-damage.

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REVISIONISTS, UNITE!

Posted in musings, social commentary, writing with tags , , , , , , , on August 13, 2009 by kimmy

Don’t be caught with your pants down!  Deny everything.  There’s no crime in backpedalling and re-imagining the facts; it’s the most popular pasttime in the US.

Just think of the possibilities. . . reconstructing entire years of your life, alternate explanations for your behavior, re-assignment of fault, disposal of responsibility. . . don’t they just make your mouth water?  Finally, you can take charge and repaint yourself in more favorable light.

Gone are those days wasted in brutal self-examination.  Instead, think of yourself as a practical impressionist, sketching wildly imaginative self-portraits, each one crazier than the next.  Who cares if it’s a mess of indeciferable colors and themes?  A statement that bold and unintelligible is sure to delight art circles.

No longer will you languish, a prisoner of conscience.  Throw it all away!  Take up your rightful place as a member of the guerilla narcisissists and pledge to defeat all idealogues.  Those namby-pambies make us all look bad; aren’t you just sick of their convictions?  No doubt that when we have routed them by our sheer numbers, they will recant and enlarge our ranks.  It’s up to us to force them to eschew the Middle Way and to adopt proper self-seeking, without which we might never identify the bad from the goody two shoes.

And when you’ve finished slashing your way through the facts, when your friends, family and colleagues are all scratching their heads, stop and observe all you’ve accomplished.  Relish the skewed vision and destruction left in your wake.  These are the moments that only the truly self-absorbed can appreciate.