All Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories

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Barney the Bullheaded Bullfrog

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When Barney, the bulky, bullheaded Bullfrog
decided to take up residence under my car tire,
i told him politely, “Barney, that is quite a perilous spot
at which you can — most definitely — easily expire.”

Barney just sat there without a trembling twitch
and said, “You sure are a very worrisome bloke;
i can assure you, most greenheartedly,
that we brave Bullfrogs are, indubitably, not afraid to croak.”

Then i realized that all of my careful cautions and
pale-lectures would not cause Barney to fearfully quiver,
so i grabbed his humongous, bullheaded, brown-old butt
and — despite his slimy objections — threw him into the river.

Barney the Bullheaded Bullfrog by my car tire. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Today is my Birthday, and here’s a little, true story concerning it (that you can unbelieve). Two Photos…

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[First, a few quick notes: 1. Albert Einstein, a vegetarian, and pacifist, had some of the best ideas about how to end all wars. For instance, he advocated countries systematically, in an intelligent and coordinated fashion, exchanging military personal on an equal basis, thereby making invasions into other countries (because of nefarious goals) rather impossible. But people don’t tend to listen to pacifists.
2. Most people just do not see the gravity of certain things, the seriousness of certain important things; they are oblivious, conform and fall in line, and life passes them by… and the many miracles never happen.]
3. This may not have much to do with anything, but here are what i hear as lyrics in the YouTube video of the Dharma for One song, as sung by Jethro Tull (live) at the Isle of Wright Festival. (This song, played in their first album, did not originally have any words/lyrics.)

Dharma, seek and you will find
Truth within your mind, Dharma.
Dharma, each to his own we say,
Together we’ll end our stream, Dharma.
Dharma, mad-time confusion burns,
Seek-money never learns, Dharma.
Truth is like freedom, it doesn’t fool me,
Being true to yourself, never think that you’re free.
Dharma will come eventually, Tao.
Dharma, Dharma…
Dharma, each to his own we sing,
Together we’ll end our stream, Dharma.
_________________________________________________________________________

Today is my birthday. I was born on November 4th, 1951. When i was the age to be eligible to be drafted (or not) concerning the Vietnam war, i was very concerned about what my draft number — according to the U.S.A. Draft Lottery — would be. I was (and still am) a pacifist and was not at all interested in going to war; i am a vegetarian; i don’t even care to contribute to the killing of animals. The lower the draft number that one is assigned, out of 365 (366), the higher the chances of you being drafted. Draft numbers were selected and assigned, via a Draft Lottery, according to your date of birth; the Draft Lottery, which was held to determine the draft status for my age-group, was held on December 1, 1970. So what was my draft number — assigned to my date of birth — after the Draft Lottery was completed? It was 39. I detested that number. I still detest it. It, being a very low number, meant that i definitely would be selected to go to the war. I was very disquieted about my “very draftable” draft number of 39. Circumstances being what they were, i went to college, where a student deferment was applicable. Later, when student deferments were terminated, i had to — because of my low 39 daft number — submit extensive paperwork requesting conscientious objector status.

So, while in college, around the time that i was becoming a vegetarian, i was visiting a friend of mine in his dormitory room. He and i were both avid fishermen; we would often go fishing together (on the weekends). On that particular day, my friend was not feeling well, so he could not go fishing with me (after i had invited him to). Right before i left his room, he gave me — following our brief discussion about music — a large Jethro Tull LP record album that i had never heard or seen before; it was the first album that the group had ever made. Since i liked the group, i thanked him for lending me the album; i left his dormitory room, and put the album on my bed, face up. (I did not look at the back of the album cover.) I went fishing.

I went fishing, alone, at the campus lake. As i fished, i began feeling immensely connected with the fish. One began seeing them as not being separate from what one was. I began seeing their pain as my pain… (or, rather, the “I” was absent and one was everything that was around). Around the same time at the lake, i began feeling like someone or something was watching the fishing; it was a very definite feeling, and i felt very embarrassed to be “seen” fishing (although no one was physically around).

I went back to my dormitory room, without any fish. After a short while, after relaxing a bit, i went over to the record album, that was on my bed, that my friend had given to me, looked at it and (when about to play it) turned it around to look at the back cover. The following is a picture of the album’s back cover. The album, released in the U.S. in February of 1969, is titled “This Was.”

This Was … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Wordless Wednesday … Not! (My Halloween Offspring)

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Well, you can clearly see that her cerebral area has expanded significantly thanks to help from her mother having had ingested my blood DNA in the distant past. The many offspring in the large egg sac that she is now carrying will undoubtedly have the same attributes.

(See Tuesday’s post, if you haven’t, to clarify this ongoing Halloween mystery. Maybe you’ll get bitten next!)

Fishing Spider (2) Ain’t She a Beauty?! Photo by Thomas Peace c.2019
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Update on my new Heart Condition… (and The Frightening Halloween Story That is True)

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[Over the weekend, i had a heart attack and went to the hospital. I’ve been a strict vegetarian since 1973, and this sudden heart thing — with arterial blockage and all — certainly came as a big shock; this is especially since, lately, i’ve been eating mostly just whole, organic foods… and i was no longer eating eggs, while the cheese that i ate, twice a week, was “no-fat cheese,” with just a little organic regular cheese sprinkled on top (additionally). I’ve been exercising daily, for years, on an indoor Schwinn bike. Heart disease runs in my family and, apparently, heredity plays a way bigger role in this than i had suspected. I didn’t get any stents; i had 40% to 50% blockage (in a curved area that is an undesirable site to place stents in); additionally, i had 100% blockage in a much smaller but significant artery. So they are treating me with medication. One of the medications that they are giving me is Lipitor, to help reduce LDL cholesterol, but my LDL levels are already low. I am back home and am doing well so far. I will not likely be making comments to my blogs (like i did in the past) for a while, and i probably will not be visiting other blogs as much, like i did in the past. The upcoming posts that i had made and had prescheduled (such as this one, below) will continue for a little while; after that, i will likely just post once or twice a week at the most. Thank you for your consideration and support! Tom]

A few years back, around this time of year, i was taking a little nap on the living room floor while Marla, my wonderful wife, was watching television. I was wearing shorts, and when i woke up and looked toward my legs, i saw a really huge spider suddenly run from my leg area. Since i’ve been a nature-lover all of my life, constantly examining and appreciating insects, spiders, frogs, snakes, and stuff on an ongoing basis, i did not panic. I caught the very large spider and put it in a glass jar. I did take photos of it back then. It was a Fishing Spider. Fishing Spiders tend to live around water, and we live right on a river. This spider was so very huge; i wondered how on earth it could have gotten into our modern, well-sealed house, but it did! This one looked like a tarantula; Fishing Spiders can get to be over 3 inches (8 cm) across. Anyway, i released the spider safely into our backyard by the river.

Later that evening, i noticed that on one of my legs, i had two sizable fang marks. No doubt, they were from the huge spider. I kid you not — and Marla can verify this — i had those fang mark scars on my leg for 3 to 4 months. I did not have any swelling or noticeable side-effects (except for a little craving to eat insects now and then)…tee-hee. So, this large spider probably ingested some of my blood (and blood DNA). Fishing Spiders can inject venom, but it is not dangerous to humans unless you are allergic to it.

So, the story ends… NOT! Just a little while ago, Marla spotted a big Fishing Spider on the front outside wall of our home. I took pictures of it, thinking that it would be perfect for Halloween. It had a big egg-case that it was protecting. I did not disturb it or harm it, of course, since it could be an offspring from the aforementioned spider that bit me. Epidemiological studies suggest that DNA ingested by animals can directly influence future generations and future evolutionary trends for that animal. These spiders could be carrying around my DNA.

Come home to papa! Thanks for showing me the egg-case of the little babies you have made! I feel so proud! 🙂
(I’ll post another photo of this beauty on Wednesday.)

Fishing Spider (1) Ain’t She A Beauty?! Photo by Thomas Peace c.2019
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The Big Bad Wolf on Halloween, and Other Creepy Tales of Old…

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We represent the Lollypop Guild, The Lollypop Guild, The Lollypop Guild
And in the name of the Lollypop Guild,
We wish to welcome you to Munchkinland.
We welcome you to Munchkinland,

Tra la la la la, la la la, la la la,
Tra la la la la, la la.

The Munchkins Lollipop Guild …. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

Then the wolf showed his teeth and said:

“Then I’ll huff,
and I’ll puff,
and I’ll blow your house down.”

“Well, then please use mouthwash,” said the three little pigs, “Your breath is strong enough to kill an elephant.”





The Three Little Pigs … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

Yet another truly horrifying story:

You, having a bad hair day, reading this stupid
Halloween Blog while
at your computer.

You, at your computer. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Carnivorous Capers… (i.e., our Ant friend is still at it!)

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It takes a lot of hard work to keep the colony healthy and thriving but i
realize that the colony and i are one.  We are each other.  What each of us does is done for all.  (Unlike those ruthless, competitive, bipedal apes, we are 100% cooperative and act for all.)

So here i am,
hauling another large bounty of meat for the colony to feast upon.
Maybe now i will finally get the recognition that i deserve.
Maybe now i will be the great worker-ant that all of the
other ants will aspire to be like.

But first, i must get this great bounty to the anthill.
While they are feasting, they will be thinking of me.
Oh lucky me for finding this treasure of voluminous, wonderful meat!

P.S. —  Don’t cringe!  (I know that you bipedal apes are watching… and judging.)  You bipedal apes eat hairy cattle and pigs and unquestioningly think and feel that it isn’t gross in the least. 
So don’t judge! 

 

Wonderful Meat-find #2 … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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An Ant’s Perspective of Bigness

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It was such tremendous luck finding this big green meal for the colony

It is very difficult to move all of this fine meat toward our anthill but
when I get it to the colony I will become a 
great heroine

I will be known as the one who courageously 
brought a lot of protein for the many larvae
all the while risking being stepped on by
those giant frightening bipedal apes

I will be revered and may even be promoted to

the job of attending to the Queen

Oh I am so very excited and happy

On the way to the colony … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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The Very Wise ToadMaster

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The very wise ToadMaster perched near the toadstool,
and with his croaky voice, he summoned all of the little tadpoles to swim up to the riverbank
to hear another lesson.

He, in his sagely way, bellowed, “Unfortunately, many of the upright, large apes — that we have mentioned in the past — foolishly refuse to judiciously see that they too evolved from swimming fish, even as you here, as swimming tadpoles (through a long passage of time), will soon be leaving your aquatic existence to join our terrestrial lot.  What is even more unfortunate is that the upright apes continue to mindlessly throw toxic debris into our water habitats and also
onto the beautiful terrestrial domain that you will all soon be graduating to.   
The upright, large apes continue to make things that destroy things.  The upright apes can be downright
destructive and dangerous, though some of them are very kind and considerate.  Overall, the whole world’s
life forms are all rapidly disappearing due to what these, large bipedal creatures are mindlessly doing.  Even as they claim that one of their kind is a God, they endlessly continue to pour cement and plastic over living things and spew out much toxic debris, killing our planet.  They often do what is called “mowing their lawn,” which they think is very beautiful (though such activity callously cuts and kills many precious creatures, including us amphibians.)  When you hop on land — which you all will be doing soon — do so with extreme caution, and avoid these large, bipedal creatures at all costs… and please
do your best to survive in
the excessive heat (due to the climate rapidly changing).”

_____________________________________________________________________________________

If you have time, please watch the following 60 Minutes video on ocean plastic and pollution…

The Very Wise ToadMaster … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-great-pacific-garbage-patch-cleaning-up-the-plastic-in-the-ocean-60-minutes-2019-08-18/

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A Story-Poem (or Two)…

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Marla, my wife, said that my poems occasionally need to be more uplifting, so the first poem (here) is meant to fulfill that end.  The second poem is what was written before her comment.

Poem #1

 

Here in his hands
is a flowery treasure
with sweet petals and leaves
much joy beyond measure

He is of hopes and images where
as he ascends up in the elevator
flowing fields of smiling imaginary angels
open doors that were dreamt of later 

Can we lift a luminous whole
and bring new minds out of below
rise to the top ever so mindfully
in a towering highrise deep in the heart of Chicago?

 

(Well, elevators are uplifting, aren’t they?)

Poem # 2

 

There was a pond
and every time a frog jumped into the pond
the pond became a little froggier 
a little splashier

There was a grasshopper
and every time he landed upon a weed
the weed became a little leggier
a little jumpier

There was a propagandizing political news-channel
and every time a person watched it
the television became a little duller
and a lot more dim-witted

 

 

Leopard Frog, a species that will not survive long in a world filled with crass people who do not act diligently to prevent global warming and who think that “Windmills cause cancer.”. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Two Short Stories

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Once there was a very rich man who, every time he saw people in need, would quickly pass them by, saying, “Sorry, I don’t help strangers.”
Then, over a short span of time, the man lost everything.  When he reached out for help, the first person who passed him by mumbled, “Sorry, I don’t help strangers.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

There was a man who, every time he looked up, worried about what was down…  and every time he looked down, worried about what was up. 
He suddenly died.
They buried him way down in the ground, facing up of course.  

 


 

Monarch Butterfly on Cone Flower … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Short Story about the Best Wooden Thing

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Once, there was a burly man who carved things out of wood.
Many people in his village would each ask him to carve something special for them, and he usually would, with great pride.
The man would often boast about what he could expertly carve.
Then, one day, a little girl — who had never asked the man to carve anything whatsoever — asked him what the best wooden thing is.
“I am not sure,” said the man, perplexedly, “Maybe it is the large horse that I once carved for Mr. Hayes.”
“No,” said the girl, confidently, “It is that large, beautiful, living Oak tree that grows in our yard.”

 

 

Very young Oak tree sapling just beginning to get there. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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The Story of Lo Zu and the Mountains (Another short Lo Zu tale)…

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An inquisitive, young woman approached Lo Zu and asked him, “Why do you leave our village every day and go wandering off into the mountains?”

Lo Zu, the great sage, answered, “I have talked to all of you many times about ‘no mind’ and that, in essence, I do not really exist as anything concrete internally.  Yet, you all continue to see me as just another man.”

The inquisitive, young woman then pensively exclaimed, “I do not understand!”

Lo Zu then stated, “When this body is in the village, you say ‘Lo Zu is here.’  When this body is in the mountains, you say, ‘Lo Zu is not here.’  At least when one is in the mountains, you (in the village) speak the truth.”

 

 

 

Lichen … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

 

 

 

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The Story of Lo Zu and the Atheist … (Another short Lo Zu tale)

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The elderly Lo Zu was sitting on a huge fallen log next to a beautiful pond that was not far from the village.  A much younger man, who was an atheist, came by and said to him, “Many people in the area say that you are a great wise man, a holy man, but if there is no God, then you are not a holy man, you are nothing.”

Lo Zu invited the man to sit next to him on the large, fallen log, which he did.  Then Lo Zu, said (while smiling), “We two can agree on one thing; I am nothing.”  

“Then there is no God,” the man pronounced with confidence.

Lo Zu then said, “‘God’, for most everyone, is an image (or series of images) that they have learned.  (They will insist that it is something much more than absorbed images.)  To these images, they associate power, dominance, kindly (special) protection, fatherliness, and unlimited knowledge.  However, these images (and their associative emotions) are self-protrusions of thought/thinking.”

“And so not anything real?” asked the man.

Lo Zu then said, “The sign on the road, just outside of town, that has the name of the town upon it, is not the town.  If someone steals the sign, they are not stealing the town.  If someone wants to visit the town, they do not crawl up the sign.  Additionally, to really be sure that the town is there, one must visit the town.”

“I see what you are getting at,” said the man.  “So, you are suggesting that one, such as you, can visit God.”

“Not really,” said Lo Zu.  “If one, through supposed will and choice, decides to visit ‘God,’ one is visiting one’s own learned images, one’s own learned thoughts and strong emotions associated with such thoughts.  Such a ‘visiting’ is usually a self-deluding form of acquisition that involves greed.” 

“So there is no real God,” the man insisted.

“Jumping to conclusions,” Lo Zu suggested, “may be as foolish as worshipping mere self-fabricated symbols, mere signs.   A strong belief that there is no God may be as superficial and primitive as a strong belief that there is a God.  Holistic perception inquires (without accumulated patterns) into what might be sacred; it inquires with a passion that surpasses beliefs of any kind (and actually finds out).”   

“So what are you saying?” the visitor queried.

Lo Zu replied, “I am saying that I will not encourage you to worship or to cling to any symbols of power, any symbols of divinity.  Worshiping self-created or learned images, that one projects (from what one absorbed from others), is similar to worshipping parts of oneself.  It may be that the true answer has to come to you.  (It cannot merely be visited, like an ordinary town.) The true answer is probably rather unapproachable, but that may be a real key; conclusions, accumulated images, and greed cannot expose it.  It is beyond foolish grasping.  The internal images of self are nothing when foolishness ceases.  When all of the windows are open and the room is not filled with garbage… only then can the breeze, perhaps, flow through.”

With that, Lo Zu stood up and began walking with his meandering cane and said,  “We must go; we see someone carrying a heavy burden and we will help them with it, to a certain point.  You can come along also… unless you prefer to remain stuck where you are.”

 

 

 

Bumblebee covered with Golden Pollen … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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The Story of Lo Zu and the Dog Chasing its Own Tail (Another short Lo Zu tale)

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Lo Zu, after one of his frequent walks into the fields and wooded areas of nature, came walking into the village.  He stopped to rest for a while and leaned on his sinuous pole, his meandering cane; nearby, a small group of men, all of them sitting together, continued to repeatedly laugh hysterically.

Lo Zu realized that they were laughing at the fact that a nearby dog was repeatedly chasing its own tail.  Lo Zu continued to walk again and came closer to the men who were laughing.  He heard one of them say, “That dog is really ignorant!”  All of them, except Lo Zu, continued to laugh at the dog as it continued to chase its own tail.

Lo Zu turned to face the sitting men and said, “It is so easy to come to conclusions; conclusions that are wrong.”  Lo Zu further went on, “That dog could chase that cat that is a little way down the road, but cats can quickly scratch and the dog could easily get a gravely injured eye.   Likewise, the dog could chase after that man walking across the street.  However, the man could kick the dog or throw something at it, injuring it.  Instead, the dog takes the prudent approach and, for great exercise, chases its own tail.  A most intelligent animal!  I, myself, walk daily to the meadows and woods to enjoy the sweet butterflies and creatures; therefore I get quite a bit of exercise.  I see that dog exercising ‘most every day also.  Sometimes I see it chasing butterflies, which is also a very wise and safe form of exercising.  Exercising often is great intelligence.  I see you men sitting around here a lot each and every day.  Do any of you exercise?”

“Not really,” said one of the men.  (The men were no longer laughing.)

“I didn’t think so,” replied Lo Zu.  He further added, “The beginning of this doglike life always chases its own end; let the dog be your teacher.”

 

 

 

Black Swallowtail on Thistle Plant … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Lo Zu and the Truth… (another short Lo Zu tale)

29 comments

 

 

A number of young men and young women in Lo Zu’s village gathered around him
one day and one of them said, “Many people, even from other villages, say that
you are a great sage, a man of vast wisdom who carries the truth; please show us
how to carry the truth with us.”

After a considerable length of silence, Lo Zu stood up and said, “If you want the truth, follow me and do exactly what I say, but it will be a very arduous journey with many difficulties.” Then Lo Zu took his meandering cane and began walking, and all of the youth eagerly followed him, with excitement and expectation in their eyes.

He walked through a very large meadow, often bending down to examine the beautiful wildflowers and
insects (while deeply enjoying them). The youth all followed. Then he walked into a thick forest
containing many creeks harboring extremely slippery rocks. All of the youth were somewhat afraid,
but they continued to follow him. After a couple of hours, they came out of the forest
and began climbing a small mountain, all following Lo Zu carefully and diligently. When they
finally reached a very lofty height, Lo Zu stopped walking and began carefully placing large
rocks in each of the youths’ hands. As he placed the large rocks in the hands of each of the
young followers, he said, “These are very special, sacred stones of truth; please carry these back to the
village very carefully, without dropping any; please do not drop the truth.”

Each of the youth carried a number of stones. They followed Lo Zu down off of the mountain. They struggled on their way through the dark forest; it was very 
perilous and difficult with the weight of the stones making their journey all the more excruciating.  As they walked through the large meadow, back toward the
village, many of them were aching with pain from the tiresome journey and from the heavy weight of the stones (over time).

When they finally reached the village, Lo Zu told them to place the stones in a large pile. It was the end of the day, getting dark, and everyone was extremely exhausted (except for Lo Zu who did not carry any stones). Lo Zu asked them, then, to stand in a circle around the stones.  Then Lo Zu remarked to them all, “Here is the truth you worked so diligently for.  These stones are absolutely worthless.  They are not any different from any other stones that one can find. You believed in me, hoping for the truth to be handed to you.  Out of your confusion, you decided that I always held the truth (to give to you). Many people, out of confusion, choose high-ranking “others” to lead them to the truth; out of their confusion, they choose! They go to temples and ask the temple-keepers to give them the truth. What the temple-keepers generally give, however, is as useless as these rocks. Nevertheless, people blindly and devotedly adhere to what they say, just as you have done with me today. It is evening, and you may be disappointed to find that you have wasted your whole day. Do not feel too wronged by this. Many people have wasted their entire lives in carrying the worthless stones, burden, weighty images, and so-called sacred statues of others, and it isn’t evening at the end of it for them; it is the time of their death. They wasted not a day but their entire life, and the sacred eluded them.
Therefore, do not cling to any groups or authoritarian leaders who claim to give concrete methods toward the truth; instead,
find living truth within, without using taxing systems or time.
The first step and the last step are one.”

 

 

Magnificent Eastern Tailed Blue (in a meadow, of course!)… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Lo Zu regarding the Best Clouds… (Another short Lo Zu tale)…

27 comments

 

 

One young student of life asked Lo Zu, “Of all the various types of clouds in the sky,
which is the one that you deem best?”

The great sage’s penetrating eyes sagaciously looked up and he said,
“Not the huge, mountainous, white towering clouds that have accumulated much.  Neither the
saturated, heavy clouds, for each is darkly full of itself; nor the clouds that stretch, sheet-like,
blanketing the whole sky; they think that they know everything.
However, there is real beauty in the little, truly humble, faint cloud of no-mind that one can barely see,
that no one notices; it lets the sun through and helps illuminate the darkness.
  Fireflies can illuminate
darkness too; very few people love them like I love them.”

 

 

 

Firefly Illumination Happening!… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

 

 

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A Poem About my Camera… (or The Perceiver is not separate from the Perceived)

37 comments

 

 

 

As it fell from my
hands into the river,
my second-rate, semi-waterproof
camera was drowning.
I tried to give it mouth-to-
mouth resuscitation
but then received a
massive jolt of electricity
into my flared chops.
As I remained passed-out
on the riverbank, 
sweet images of beautiful flowers
crawled in my head
and I smiled,
realizing that a camera
was no longer needed.

 

 

Wildflowers and Soldier Beetle… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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The Story of Lo Zu and The Young Man

28 comments

 

An inquisitive young man, along with some of his friends, went to Lo Zu, and said,

“Every time that I look east, the birds fly east, and every time that I look west, the birds fly west;

every time that I look up the birds fly up,

and every time that I look down, the birds fly down.  What does this mean?”

After a very long period of silence, Lo Zu, the great sage, finally answered,

“One must keep one’s mouth shut when inquiring within.”

 


They finally hatched!    🙂

Mourning Dove Fledglings… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018