Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Koan of the Blonde Boy

A parable is a vignette with a moral. A fable is the same in terms of personified animals. A riddle is a verbal question whose solution requires ingenuity. A koan is a sort of riddling parable. Some koans require decades of zazen, or seated meditation and full-focused concentration. My own little koan, here, is not such a hard nut to crack:




The Blonde Boy



A boy encountered a blond youth in the park, and called:

“Hey, hey! You cannot play here: this is my park.”

The blond smiled. So the boy shoved the youth down, but the youth smiled from the ground.

“Well you have to beat me in a game to stay here,” said the boy.

The blond stood.

“I can shout louder than you,” he shouted into the wind.

“There is a rock you know,” said the blond.

“Fool,” said the boy, “It is a basketball. See? I can beat you.”

He pushed it up into the hoop again and again. The blond raised his hand and blocked the ball occasionally. The boy felt proud to beat him.

“Do you see how many points I am making? Do you know what that means? It means I am winning.”

“It means,” said the youth, “that you think the game is basketball.”

“What’s that supposed to mean? What do you think the game is?”

“There is a rock you know,” said the blond.

“That’s not a rock, you dope, that’s a tombstone from the cemetary, I bet you if we kick at it, I can knock it over first.”

And he did kick at it, and the blond youth kicked too, but not so hard, and when the boy blunted his toe he cried, “well you would cry too if you were even trying. Its not a game if you don’t try.”

“Trying is not the game.”

“Then what? Is pretending I don’t know the game your game? Or making up games? I can make up better games than you.”

“It never gets dark here,” said the blond.

“It is my park and I say that the sun is always up.”

“That is a rock you know.”

“That’s not a rock. That’s the sun. It's made out of fire.” The boy looked at it intently, but it hurt his eyes. Yet when he looked at the blond, the blond seemed to stare at the sun with ease.

“So that’s your game. Well I can stare longer and not look away, but you will.”

He stared and stared at the sun till the tears ran down his cheeks. And he said, “Yes, it is a rock, isn’t it? I can see how you could call it a rock—but why are you leaving?”

“You lost.”



\ ~@M@~ /



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