I have, of late, found myself in the interesting position of watching two friends move through challenging phases of their lives.
Do you know the story about the Zen master and the little boy? There was a little boy, and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse. And everybody in the village says, “How wonderful! The boy got a horse.” And the Zen master says, “We’ll see.” Two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg. And everybody in the village says, “How terrible!” And the Zen master says, “We’ll see.” Then a war breaks out, and all the young men have to go off and fight, except the boy can’t ’cause his leg’s all messed up, and everybody in the village says, “How wonderful!” And the Zen master says, “We’ll see…”
~Charlie Wilson’s War
There are probably 1,000,0001 reasons I could never be a farmer, but the story I got to hear multiple times yesterday would have to be listed as number one with a bullet.
What’s amusing to me is how absolutely normal the event is in the farming world. While not a daily occurrence, it does happen often enough for a farmer to not even bat an eye while carrying out such a chore.
My wife’s sister visited their grandmother—who lives on a farm surrounded by her sons and their beef-cattle farms—and then came to visit us. Here’s the tale she brought with her…
When Lydia and I moved into our house, we had the only dwelling on the block. It was a new development, and while there were several structures to our west, behind our home, all else surrounding us was open field. This is not the case anymore; now we are boxed in, and there is no more open space.
I am not a bright person; this is no secret. So if there are two people on my Facebook friend’s list with nearly identical names—and by that I mean same first names and oh-so-goddamn-similar last names—it would be easy to assume I would confuse the two.
The most difficult thing to do when writing is to translate a personal moment into something with universal appeal. Case in point: in my opinion, the funniest things in life are not jokes everyone can relate to—“OMG, isn’t traffic crazy??”—no, gut-busting laughter usually comes from a memory shared between two (or several) people, an event so specific that the mere mention of what happened sends all involved into uncontrolled hysterics.
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I Was a White Knight… Once is also available for the Sony Reader, and will soon be available for download as an mp3 Audio Book.
On October 3rd, 1992, I watched as Sinead O’Connor tore up a picture of Pope John II on Saturday Night Live. It was an act of protest against child abuse; she stated the Church of Ireland knew molestation was occurring within its walls, yet was doing nothing to protect children.