Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another Letter and a Startling Statement

As my old friend at the monastery indicated I might, I received a letter from someone very important to me.

Dear Bodhisatva,
I don't suppose you remember me since you were so very young when we met. It was I who took you to the monastery on the day of the terrible tragedy. I won't speak of it anymore as I'm sure it's quite upsetting to you. Ajahn Ananda has given me your address so that I could write to you.

It has been some years since I visited that lovely land you come from. I was glad to see the forests were still cool and inviting and the fields quite green and productive. The little city by the port, however has grown into something of a big city now! Many more ships were in the harbor and the din of the trains coming and going was constant and a little exciting. But I would not like to have to stay there for very long. The path to the monastery, however, remains quiet and is still a long enough walk to keep the city's reach from disturbing the peace that is found there.

It was very good to visit with my old friend again and catch up on so much news. Although, in the brief time I was there our conversation was so much concerned with the business of our monasteries and hearing of your adventures that the Venerable Ajahn quite neglected to tell me how your brother has fared. Please do greet him for me the next time you see him.

Your Friend,
Bikkhu Sariputra

Brother? I don't have a brother. At least I don't think so. I wrote back to the Bikkhu immediately!

Dear Bikkhu Sariputra,
I am so happy to hear that you are well and traveling some. Personally I feel that travel is one of the finest things one may do to broaden one's view of the world and increase one's understanding of it. But we shall discuss that more at another time as I write to you in some haste.

Your letter contained something confusing to me. I was actually quite startled when you inquired after my brother. To my knowledge I have no siblings! Should you find the time I greatly wish to hear what you meant and perhaps clear up this misunderstanding.

Bodhisatva Paperclip

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Welcome Letter!

I was so pleased to hear from an old friend today.

Dear Bodhisatva,
I hope this finds you well and ready to engage the new year with happiness. We all thank you for the gift of the cavorite specimen. I have placed it under a bronze bell in the meditation room to restrain it from floating away. We have found the humming sound surprisingly soothing and conducive to mindfulness.

The last year has been a very good one for the monastery. All of the buildings are wearing new paint and the roof of the spring house is back where it belongs. Two more monks joined us this year so we now number seven. Our garden was very productive and it looks as though we will not starve this winter.

Should your explorations bring you to our humble country know you are always welcome to visit and stay as long as you wish. Bikkhu Upali has asked me to tell you we've christened the door key Bodhisatva because it hangs from the beam by the stove--though by a cord, not by its tail!--as you did so many cold nights.

Here is some news you may find interesting. Bikkhu Sariputra visited the monastery recently. Though I hesitate to remind you of that terrible day, you must recall that he was the monk who brought you to us when your poor parents were taken from the world in that tragic accident. In fact, this was the first time since then that he has visited as he resides in the Nakorn Monastery in Siam and travels infrequently. We were pleased to be able to tell him some of your travels and studies and have shared your address with him. He will, doubtless, write to you himself very soon.

May you be safe, well, happy and free!

Venerable Ajahn Ananda

I miss my friends at the monastery very much and really should visit again some day soon.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Expedition Africa!

Having a bit of spare time recently I booked passage to the continent of Africa for a brief visit. It proved to be a fascinating place indeed. On my arrival I asked the first inhabitants I met for directions but I'm afraid they weren't very much help. They were friendly, of course, but they seemed to find every question I asked them extremely funny and only laughed hysterically in response.

Unlike Caledon, the lands of Africa are not served by public transport in any form. I did, however, find this fellow who was more than happy to give me a ride for some distance.

Only one African I met was less than friendly. But I believe it was more out of shyness than rudeness as she thrust her head into the sand as soon as I approached her for an interview.

OK, I give up. What are we looking at?

Not all of Africa's amazing Nature is in animal form. Here I found some curious plants masquerading as stones. The bizarre paired leaves are swollen with stored water that is seasonally scarce in this area.

Near a village I encountered two lively monkeys climbing about. They were much too engrossed in their play to sit for an interview, but I was loath to interrupt them anyway as they appeared to be having so much fun.

A big farther along I wandered into a copse of trees with strangely patterned trunks.

Imagine my surprise when I gently knocked on the bark and subsequently learned that they were actually the legs of a two great camelopards!

Alas! My duties in Caledon called me home. So it was that I bid the continent of Africa farewell from atop a lovely waterfall. I must return again some day and continue my explorations!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Heavens Above!

On a recent afternoon whilst strolling about Caledon Kittiwickshire I came upon a curious looking structure. From where I stood it appeared to be a globe much like those that grace many a gentleman's study, but was of gargantuan size and surmounting a dignified stone building.

Walking around to the east side I discovered that I had found the Kittiwickshire Celestial Observatory. The sign clearly stated that visitors are welcome so I went inside.

On the ground floor I found two parlors with tastefully furnished sitting areas. The seats were quite comfortable and I could easily imagine spending time here chatting with friends before and after our visit upstairs.

Utilizing a built-in transportation system, I moved to the second storey where an observation deck presented a panoramic view of Kittiwickshire. One can see the commercial district clearly from here.

But the real treat awaits the visitor just one level higher. Here the night-time sky is presented as I've never seen it before! The scene is awe-inspiring. Any description I make would be woefully inadequate so I highly recommend that you make your way there soon. Thanks are due Mr. Nuclear Slingshot for bringing this wonder to our neighborhood.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I'm moving. An opportunity recently came to my attention that would provide me with a larger site for my home and lab in a lovely area that I just couldn't pass up. It wasn't an easy decision to make. I've grown fond of my friendly neighbors in Caledon Glengarry, the region's scenic landscape and its wildlife. And so I've packed up my posessions and departed that fair land.

It was so pleasant to work in my conservatory right at the water's edge. And I never got over the thrill of seeing Caledon Air Transport's craft floating majestically above.

I felt privileged to be able to contribute to Caledon's infrastructure in my own, small way with the construction of this simple bridge. It shall, of course, remain so I hope that visitors to Glengarry enjoy the view from it.

And while I'm on the subject of views, I must mention the awe I always felt living, as I did, in the shadow of Steam Sky City. This technological marvel is truly one of the brightest jewels in Caledon's crown. Dodging the odd bit of shrapnel now and then was a small price to pay for having such a fascinating neighbor.

Some things were easier to pack than others. Perhaps, once settled in my new home I'll be able to pursue the answers to the more elusive questions of my life.

For the time being my studies and inquiries shall wait. I've got a new home to build!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hurricane in New Toulouse!!

I awoke this morning to a dispatch from New Toulouse reporting that a hurricane was under way. The storm is called Adolphe for unknown reasons and has ravaged all the regions. As rumors of zombies and alligators were added to the mix I grabbed my trusty firearm which I usually reserve for the Poetry Slam. I then swiftly made my way to New Toulouse proper and witnessed the storm for myself.

The scene that greeted me was at once frightening and exhilarating. Dark clouds swirled overhead and the rain fell in curtains. The streets were flooded but passable by the determined.

I proceded next to New Toulouse Bourbon and found the situation there even more serious. The flooding was more extensive, even to the extent that I was able to take out my little boat and paddle about the Square as though it were a lake. By this time lightning was flashing all about. At times it struck so close that I felt my fuzz rise with the electricity!

Paddling northward I entered New Toulouse Bayou where I encountered none other than His Grace, Sir Edward Pearse poling about on a raft. We spoke briefly and he told me there had been no reports of injuries so I allowed myself a brief sigh of relief.

Still as I took in the scene I could only think it a miracle no-one was hurt or lost. It appeared the entire region was under water!

This clever beast found refuge on a rooftop!

Only the homes on the highest ground of New Toulouse Bayou appear to have been spared the devastation of this storm. Still, if the character of all the residents of these regions may be judged by the few that I personally know, I have great faith that they shall rebuild. But they will never forget this dramatic time in New Toulouse history. I know I won't.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Poem

I wrestle with words. My aim is to have something presentable for tomorrow night's poetry slam at Der Hut Des Jaegers as it's been too long since I've participated. As is my practice when I have something to finish, I find something else to do. And so I've decided to share here an untitled work I previously presented. I hope you enjoy it.

My Dear, put down the book you hold.
Put on your coat. The night is cold.
Come! Take my hand. Let's leave our home.
Across the valley dark we'll roam.

I've gathered much for our late feast
composed of grain and fruit and beast
to show how much I care for you.
Do come! Let's trip across the dew.

Tomatoes red are nestled in
the basket tight next to a tin
of herring silver as your eyes
or all the stars now in the skies.

And also here we have some bread
as golden as your own fair head
with honey sweet as your shy smile.
Now, cross the stream log--single file.

Climb down the bank, deep in the glen.
I'm thinking of the roasted hen
with herbs as earthy as your soul
and truffles, too, as black as coal.

Here by the lake our blanket's spread
when normally we'd be abed.
Yet now we'll share this magic scene,
the sapphire sky, the lake of green.

Dessert will be a berry tart
as red and warm as your own heart.
And all throughout a glass of wine
to toast each night that you are mine.

And as our feast draws to its end
I kiss my love, my mate, my friend
and promise to return here soon
to picnic here, beneath the moon