I haven’t written from a StoryaDay.org prompt yet, so today I decided to try it out.
This is the major gist of the prompt:
Use Wikipedia’s Front Page To Spark A Story
Go to the front page of Wikipedia.
Quickly scan the “In The News” and “On This Day…” sections, or even the Featured Article. If something catches your eye, use it as the spark for today’s story.
I modified this a tiny bit, just because I wanted the spark to choose me rather than me choosing the spark. I was involved in some sorting, though, as I looked through the article headlines for appealing stories and people. I wrote the words on torn pieces of paper and put them in a bowl. I drew “Zen Buddhism” and here is what the prompt told me to say:
The most recent time I spoke with him I thought he sounded remarkably like Eeyore. You know, Winnie the Pooh’s constantly pessimistic, chronically gloomy friend?
"Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning," he said. "Which I doubt," said he.
"Why, what's the matter?"
"Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."
"Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
"Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush."
"Eeyore," said Owl, "Christopher Robin is giving a party."
"Very interesting," said Eeyore. "I suppose they will be sending me down the odd bits which got trodden on. Kind and Thoughtful. Not at all, don't mention it."
He, my friend, not Eeyore, was an important character in my life at a time when I was teetering on the edge of rock bottom. I remember I wrote him a haiku poem with the final line being “You bring life to me.” It was true at the time.
Now as I sit here, perplexed, I wonder, “How does his relationship with Buddhism relate to his gloominess?”
How is Nirvana related to his gloominess?
I had a code name for him when I mentioned him to my friends. “The Buddhist Computer Tech” I would say.
My friends would nod or shake their heads, wondering what a nice Christian Sunday School teacher like me was doing hanging out with a Buddhist Computer Tech?
It’s easy. A single Mom with a nine-month-old baby and two young daughters, scared because she didn’t have to do the single Mom thing with her daughters. She felt cast out from her friends, a modern day Hester Prynne of sorts. The Computer Tech Buddhist man offered companionship, a listening ear and a gentle demeanor.
I somehow missed the Eeyore impression on the way to “Thank goodness I have someone who likes me for who I am.”
Our friendship lasted close to three years before I got tired of the Gloomy Donkey that lived inside my friend’s personality. I missed him, I grieved my loss, and every once in a while over the next few years I would talk to him and every time his Eeyore-ness took over more and more and more of him.
I still don’t get the connection between the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path and how he lived his life. Mostly, I remain grateful for all of him: the gentle one who helped me come back to life and the more than slightly gloomy donkey that lives beside his titles: Computer Tech. Buddhist. Friend.
This post is a part of the StoryADay in May project. I plan to write a 300 word (roughly) story/vignette each day in May. With that, May You Be Blessed by
Julie Jordan Scott has been a Life & Creativity Coach, Writer, Facilitator and Teleclass Leader since 1999. She is also an award winning Actor, Director, Artist and Mother Extraordinaire. She was twice the StoryTelling Slam champion in Bakersfield. She teaches a teleclass/ecourse "Discover the Power of Writing & Telling Engaging, Enlightening Stories" which begins again April 19, 2012. Find details by clicking this link.
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