Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Forgive me, oh Boddhisattva of intellectual radiance

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

As I made my way into the university library, I was approached by a wild-eyed young gentleman who asked if i was a full-time student here. Figuring that he was probably new and needed directions, I smiled and nodded. I was pulling up my mental map of the campus when suddenly, he shoved a book into my hand and asked if I'd ever tried yoga.

For some reason, I said yes. Yoga is wholly unappealing to me. I'm a large guy. Large as in tall, and I'm 20 pounds underweight (which makes no difference when it comes to yoga, but I thought I'd like to paint a better picture). I have the worst balance on the face of the planet. None other is clumsier. Well, at least that's what it feels like.

So, this guy tells me that he's studied as a monk for 10 years and has hit the road, forsaking wealth to spread the word about meditation, yoga, and other teachings of the east. I got excited because I am fascinated with that stuff, but this just didn't seem like the appropriate venue.

He put some more books into my hand, and I was looking forward to reading through them to see what jewels they may bear. He carried on, asking me about my major and such....kind of a swift operator, not really taking much time to soak in what I had to say. Just as I was wondering when or if he was going to ask, he asked.

"All I ask is a small donation, blah blah blah."

Even though I expected it, I was kind of hurt in a way. I wanted that to be a sincere transaction. The deliverance of knowledge, enlightenment, etc., out of the goodness of another being's heart.

I was barely audible when I told him I had no money.

He stretched out his hand so as to ask for the books back, and walked in the direction from which I'd just come.

I felt foolish, having stood there and listened to his game.

As I sat down here to write this, I began to wonder about all of the possibilities. Maybe, just maybe, he was sincere and even a dollar would've sufficed. Had I had a dollar to give... No, no second-guessing this. Had the man been genuine and talked at length with me, expressing emotions at my limited knowledge of such things, the situation would've been much different. I said a little prayer for him anyway.

Just another moment in my "small-town boy meets big city life" experience.

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

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