Saturday, April 05, 2008

Storytelling

Is it my turn again? Time certainly flies, especially when you have a jillion things on your mind and you barely know what day it is. I live in fear that some day I'm going to turn up at some bookstore to speak when I should be at the library giving a workshop. I often have dreams that I suddenly realize I'm supposed to be at some event in Texas, or Colorado, or I forgot that I'm supposed to be at a conference in fifteen minutes. Not that I'm in such demand, God knows. It's just that I'm not always aware of the passage of time like I ought to be, since I spend so much of it in my own head rather than in the world (as per my last entry).

Which reminds me of a story, like most things do. I've always been interested in the writings of J. Krishnamurti for their absolutely no nonsense to-the-pointness. For those of you who don't know, in the late 1910s, when he was just a small child, Krishnamurti was declared by the Theosophical Society to be the final reincarnation of the Buddha, who when he grew up was supposed to take over the Society (and the world, presumably) and usher in a new age of enlightenment. So, in 1927, after being raised and educated in England by this group, the young man Krishnamurti called the devotees to a gigantic gathering, promising to finally impart to them the great wisdom and enlightment they had been waiting for. And it was this:

"You've said for years that I was born to tell you the truth and you would do what I say, so here it is. Why are you people looking to me to enlighten you? You have to do it yourself. I can't save you, and neither can this group. Therefore, this group is dissolved. Everybody go home."

And all the thousands of people looked at each other and said, "Well, this guy can't be the Buddha." The Theosophical Society continues on to this day, and Krishnamurti went on his merry way.

The gist of his teaching was that you have to pay attention. You can't figure things out with your brain, you have to be conscious. Many years after the above event, he told a tale of being picked up at the airport in India by two young men who were supposed to take him to a friend's house in the country. As they were driving along with Krishnamurti in the back seat, the two young men were so absorbed in a discussion about consciousness that they ran over a goat and never even knew it.

So, whenever I do some idiot thing because I wasn't paying attention, I say I "ran over the goat."

And speaking of storytelling, in my last entry I told the story of my husband and his brother throwing eggs at a post. Don (husband) read it and said, "well, it's a good story, but it's totally wrong." Seems it wasn't raw eggs they threw, it was boiled eggs, and it wasn't a fence post, it was a telephone pole, and it wasn't several times they did it, it was only once. Which leads me to make this disclaimer: When I write my historical novels, I do all kinds of research to make sure my facts are straight. When I sit down to write my blogs - not so much. So don't take my blog tales to the bank.

Finally, I love Rick's tale of a nose named Barry. (previous entry) Off the top of my head I can't remember any of my own delightful bloopers, except that I tend to make the same typos over and over. One of which is that I usually type "herp" instead of "hero." So often in fact that I've started using the word "herp" in conversation, which leaves the person I'm speaking to with a baffled look on her face.

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