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Once there was a crab walking along the beach and it came across a pearl. The crab knew right away that this round gem was not only beautiful to gaze upon but it must be worth a great deal so it quickly took the pearl back to its burrow and hid it, in its hole that it called home.

The crab never told anyone that it had found the precious pearl, afraid that some one might take it. For a long time the crab admired the pearl and kept it stowed. Finally the day came that the crab was captured and unable to return to its hole. The crabs home was filled-in with sand from the tides, since the crab was not around any longer to keep the hole dug-out.

Time went by and the tides did what they do, constantly washing the shore line till finally one day the pearl was uncovered and exposed, lying on the beach. A young girl was walking along the beach and came across the pearl. Excited and knowing she had found a treasure, she ran home as fast as she could and showed every body what she had found.

The little girl then took the precious gem to the jeweler and sold the pearl for a lot of money, then went to the store and bought a dress that she had wanted for such a long time.

The jeweler made a ring of the pearl and it was purchased by a man for his wife and she cherishes it and safeguards it. The value (to her) is not in the pearl but the fact her husband bought it for her and gave it to her on their anniversary, while at a restaurant, where they had crab for dinner.

Each of us have a treasure. We may keep something or someone safe guarded to ensure its safety. Then that which is a treasure to one may not be to another. It may then be used to obtain what they see as value, be it a person or a thing.  Moral of the story is; one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

By Art~ … (When I wrote this story and had the story come full circle from the crab to the crab, it reminded me of …’One.’

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In Richard Bach’s novel, “One,” the story unfolds that we on this planet are all connected… “One!” Richard Bach is the author of ‘Johnathan Livingston Seagull’ and ‘Illusions‘ (which is one of my favorite reads).

review by Genie Walker~ “One”

Richard and Leslie are traveling by plane (Richard’s the pilot) to Los Angeles when a rare opportunity happens: they are able to visit themselves in the past and in parallel lives. Wise words are sprinkled throughout the novel. One of my personal favorites is when Richard of the present explains to Richard of 30 years ago that mistakes aren’t just mistakes they are “unexpected learning experiences.” I like that because I’ve had more than my fair share of unexpected learning experiences and am most likely to have another one soon.

The novel soon has you pondering over your own life. What if I could go back and talk to myself. Knowing that all my past experiences has made me who I am today; would I try to change my path in the past? If there is such a thing as parallel worlds what would the other versions of me be doing today? If I can change my path, can I do it today without having to travel in the past? How can I apply the words of wisdom in this book to my own situation? What if…?

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One fine day two Crabs came out from their home to take a stroll on the sand. “Child,” said the mother, “you are walking very ungracefully. You should accustom yourself, to walking straight forward without twisting from side to side.”

“Pray, mother,” said the young one, “do but set the example yourself, and I will follow you.” 

Example is the best precept. …. Aesop!

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(I like the picture of the two crabs, it reminds me of those who want to hold us back and keep us from bettering ourselves.)

may your day not be crabby! Peace-out

(~_~)

The disciple said to the master: “I have spent a great deal of my life seeing things that I should not, wishing for things I should not wish for, making plans I should not be doing.”

The master invited the disciple to go for a walk.  On the path he pointed out to a plant and asked the disciple if he knew what that was.

“Belladonna.  It can kill someone who eats its leaves.” Stated the student.

The master then said, “But it cannot kill someone who only contemplates it.  In the same way the negative desires cannot cause any evil, if you do not allow yourself be seduced by them.”

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When Noah was planting a vineyard, Satan appeared to him and asked permission to help him.

Satan brought first a lamb, killed it and poured its blood over the furrows.  Then he soaked the earth with lion’s blood.  Following he trapped a monkey and used his blood in the same way.  And finally it was the turn of a pig.  Then Satan explained to Noah his intentions:

When man would drink the first cup of wine he will turn sweet and happy as the lamb.  With the second cup, he will be valiant and a fighter like the lion, bragging of his power.  Then after the third cup, he will become ridicule as the monkey.  But if he drinks four or more cups he will become a repugnant pig, dirty and bestial, capable of wallowing in mud.

source
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food for thought

How do you like your coffee? Black, with sugar, with cream or perhaps you don’t like coffee and/or prefer tea or cocoa. How do you like the bitter truth delivered to you? Would you like to hear it plain and bitter, or would you prefer it sweetened up a little bit before it is served to you. Sprinkle a bit of french vanilla over the words and make it more to your liking or just spell it out… it is what it is!

I am not a diplomat, so it eludes me why we give millions/billions of dollars to foreign countries when we have hungry and homeless people right here on our soil. (But then again…) I have not seen it yet, but I await the viewing of the movie… ‘Machine Gun Preacher’ …. based on a true story. Basically, a man who has done so many things wrong, finds religion and decides to go to Africa to help feed the hungry and finds that the food and money that is for the hungry is taken by the rebels. (This is the root of most problems with sending money to other countries) The money goes toward buying guns and funding armies. A story where one man made a difference.

Take a stand or go and sit down and have a cup of sweetened coffee. Take the bull by the horns and tame the beast or go sit down and watch the show. You have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. We are not the new Romans headed for a great fall, we are Americans, united and versitile. We are not a Belladonna, we are Americans where the icon is the Bald Eagle… watch us soar!

One may be but a drop of water, but banned together and we can make a wave.

(warrior of virtue and honor)

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zen will not tap you on the shoulder, zen must be found

(~_~)

Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor content.

One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked. This fascinated the King. Why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy?

The King asked the servant, “Why are you so happy?”

The man replied, “Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don’t need too much – just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies.”

The king was not satisfied with that reply. Later in the day, he sought the advice of his most trusted advisor.

After hearing the King’s woes and the servant’s story, the advisor said, “Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of The 99 Club.”

“The 99 Club? And what exactly is that?” the King inquired.

The advisor replied, “Your Majesty, to truly know what The 99 Club is, place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant’s doorstep.”

When the servant saw the bag, he took it into his house. When he opened the bag, he let out a great shout of joy… So many gold coins!

He began to count them. After several counts, he was at last convinced that there were 99 coins. He wondered, “What could’ve happened to that last gold coin? Surely, no one would leave 99 coins!”

He looked everywhere he could, but that final coin was elusive. Finally, exhausted, he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to earn that gold coin and complete his collection.

From that day, the servant’s life was changed. He was overworked, horribly grumpy, and castigated his family for not helping him make that 100th gold coin. He stopped singing while he worked.

Witnessing this drastic transformation, the King was puzzled. When he sought his advisor’s help, the advisor said, “Your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club.”

He continued, “The 99 Club is a name given to those people who have enough to be happy but are never content, because they’re always yearning and striving for that extra 1 telling to themselves: “Let me get that one final thing and then I will be happy for life.”


We can be happy, even with very little in our lives, but the minute we’re given something bigger and better, we want even more! We lose our sleep, our happiness, we hurt the people around us, all these as a price for our growing needs and desires.

That’s what is called joining The 99 Club!

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may you be content throughout your day!

(~_~)

A great sculptor was out and about searching for a stone that he could work on for his next sculpture. When he found one suitable to his liking he dragged it home and began working on it. Chipping away at it, sanding it smoothly and after several months he was finished.

Any and everyone who gazed upon this sculpting would say, “You have created a masterpiece.”

The sculptor would merely say, “I simply chipped away the pieces, the sculpture was already there.

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Sculpting the mind

by Art~

 

All my life

I have chipped away pieces of me

like days

never to retrieve them again

 

sanding the rough edges

smoothing out a soothing feel

to that which I am liking

 

The pedestal I place my self upon is short

for “the farther a man’s feet are from the earth

the farther he is from himself”

 

chiseling perfection

only to hide the scars

where I have been hammered wrongfully

either by my own ignorance or from another’s

 

I marvel at marble memories

and the constant change in me,

daily I am chipping away at the pieces of me while

Sculpting my mind

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food for thought

Perhaps the most famous statue in the world is the statue of David by Michelangelo.

In 1501 Michelangelo was commissioned to create the statue of David. He broke away from the traditional carvings of David who had slain Goliath, that was generally depicted with a severed head or wielding a sword with intense expressions. Instead, Michelangelo created a simple and elegant statue that empowers the idea of a youth with stature and grace.

I see it as a symbol, that the smallest of men can over come the greatest of obstacles. The infamous story of David and Goliath alone tells the tale of what a man can accomplish with courage. I see David as one whom remained humble after his name became famous across the land after his victory.

(a situation I was recently faced with, two goliaths… I think I know how David felt)

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life is not about finding yourself

life is about creating (sculpting) yourself 

A Spider’s Web (Author Unknown)

A young soldier found himself in a terrible battle during the Scottish Reformation. The enemy was soundly defeating this young man’s army. He and his comrades found themselves hastily retreating from the battle field in defeat, running away in fear of their very lives. The enemy gave chase. This young man ran hard and fast, full of fear and desperation, soon found himself cut off from his comrades in arms.

He eventually came upon a rocky ledge containing a cave. Knowing the enemy was close behind, and that he was exhausted from the chase, chose to hide there. After he crawled in, he fell to his face in the darkness, desperately crying to God to save him and protect him from his enemies.  He also made a bargain with God. He promised that if God saved him, he would serve Him for the remainder of his days.

When he looked up from his despairing plea for help, he saw a spider beginning to weave its web at the entrance to the cave. As he watched the delicate threads being slowly drawn across the mouth of the cave, the young soldier pondered its irony. He thought, “I asked God for protection and deliverance, and he sent me a spider instead. How can a spider save me?”

His heart was hardened, knowing the enemy would soon discover his hiding place and kill him.

And soon he did hear the sound of his enemies, who were now scouring the area looking for those in hiding. One soldier with a gun slowly walked up to the cave’s entrance. As the young man crouched in the darkness, hoping to surprise the enemy in a last-minute desperate attempt to save his own life, he felt his heart pounding wildly out of control.

As the enemy cautiously moved forward to enter the cave, he came upon the spider’s web, which by now was completely strung across the opening. He backed away and called out to a comrade, “There can’t be anyone in here. They would have had to break this spider’s web to enter the cave. Let’s move on.”

Years later, this young man, who made good his promise by becoming a preacher and evangelist, wrote about that ordeal. He wrote:

“Where God is, a spider’s web is as a stone wall. Where God is not, a stone wall is as a spider’s web.”

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Life is like a spider web, we are all connected in the chain of life!

may your day be a pleasant one

 

A Sioux Story
Author: Unknown

The Creator gathered all of Creation and said:

“I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realization that they create their own reality.”

The eagle said, “Give it to me, I will take it to the moon.”

The Creator said, “No. One day they will go there and find it.”

The salmon said, “I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean.”

“No. They will go there too.”

The buffalo said, “I will bury it on the Great Plains.”

The Creator said, “They will cut into the skin of the Earth and find it even there.”

Grandmother Mole, who lives in the breast of Mother Earth, and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said, “Put it inside of them.”

And the Creator said, “It is done.”

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Moral: We create our own reality. We create our lives; life is not about finding ones self, life is about creating ones self. I have heard it said that, “we are a direct result of our enviornment,” all that we have been exposed to growing up and all that we endulge in as adults. We are given the ability to choose and with that little distinction we create our lives. We are the artist that paint ourselves, be it light, bright, colorful or dark and/or grey, we create our own way.

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The Romance of the Sun and Moon

The Sun journeyed every day, across the skies in search of a lake of magical powers. This lake will grant any wish if you drink of it. Now the Sun’s wish is that he can find his love that comes to him in the darkest night of the month…she’ll slide beside him…and love him like no other. His heart waits anxiously every month for her sweet loving…but it disturbs him that he knows her not.”

After many years of this romance he figures out a plan…and on her next visit he will try it…so when the darkest night of the month came and she slid next to him and loved him like no other…he put his hand in the dying fires ambers and filled his fingers with ash…and brushed his loves face as they made love.

The next morning she was gone…this shy one had left him again so Sun got up and went out into his day and searched for the lake as well as his love. The day was long and he found neither his heart sank as he fell to the other side of the earth. Then in the distant twilight he caught a glimpse of Moon. A lovely women who kept to herself and rarely seen by Sun. As he fell to the other side, he spotted the smudge marks on Moons face as he caught his last glimpse of her as night took over. Sun then knew who his love was and cursed that they lived so far away from each other. He was storming around for days.

Realizing they will never be together…unless he looks for the magical lake. That he can drink from it and ask for his wish to be with Moon always. Not just once a month when you see them both in the twilight. If you look real good she still wears the smudge marks as a reminder that she belongs to Sun.

Sun was granted his wish and an eclipse occurred. Sun and moon stood before the world together, a marriage that will last forever. Every so often an eclipse occurs and Sun and Moon renew their vows, and still, once a month they hold each other in the same sky.

 

 

have a harmonious day

 

Once the great Anthony of the Desert was relaxing with his disciples outside his hut when a hunter came by. The hunter was surprised to see Anthony relaxing, and rebuffed him for taking it easy. It was not his idea of what a holy monk should be doing.

Anthony replied, “Bend your bow and shoot an arrow.” And the hunter did so. “Bend it again and shoot another arrow,” said Anthony. The hunter did so, again and again.

The hunter finally said, “Abba Anthony, if I keep my bow always stretched, it will break.”

So it is with the monk,” replid Anthony. “if we push ourselves beyond measure, we will break. It is right from time to time to relax our efforts.”

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moral: Balance, as with the ying and the yang; up, down, light, dark, hot and cold, there is exertion and relaxation, a necessity for muscles to operate properly. Life is the same, stress caused by enduring to much can only be resolved by a resolution and/or relaxation. Relax, take your shoes off! For the farther a man’s/woman’s feet are from the earth, the farther one is from them-self.

have a relaxing day

 

The great Taoist master Chuang Tzu once dreamt that he was a butterfly fluttering here and there. In the dream he had no awareness of his individuality as a person. He was only a butterfly.

Suddenly, he awoke and found himself laying there, a person once again. But then he thought to himself, “Was I before a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being a man?”

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moral; interpretations vary, perspectives are visuals from different stand points, life is truely amazing, to ponder rather reality is a dream or a dream is reality. I find dreams curious, I had one the other night where in a certain spot in this house, when you stood there, it lifted you upward, floating. Now, what gets me about this is the feelings that come along with the dream, you actually feel as though your being elevated, gravity defied. If I am awake, I could not reproduce the physical feeling of being lifted, yes I can imagine floating but without the feeling that dreams seem to recreate, fascinating.

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food for thought

Dream interpretations date back to 3000-4000 B.C., where they were documented on clay tablets.  For as long as we have been able to talk about our dreams, we have been fascinated with them and have strived to understand them.

In some primal societies, members were unable to distinguish between the dream world and the waking world. Or they could simply choose not to make the distinction. They saw that the dream world was not only an extension of reality, but that it was a more powerful world. 

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1. One-third of your life is spent sleeping.

2. In an average  lifetime, you would have spent a total of about six years of it dreaming. That is more than 2,100 days spent in a different realm!

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Everybody dreams. EVERYBODY! Simply because you do not remember your dream does not mean that you do not dream. In fact, you have several dreams during a normal night of sleep.

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In reality, we cannot really fly, of course. Thus, such dreams can be representative of things that are beyond your physical limitations. In your mind, you can be anybody and do anything. Another way of interpreting flying dreams is that these dreams symbolize your strong mind and will. You feel undefeatable and that nobody can tell you what you cannot do and accomplish. Such dreams are sure to leave you with a great sense of freedom.

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Master Takuan was on his death bed. A very devoted disciple came to the beloved master and asked:“Master, what would be your legacy to this world?Takuan answered him that he did not have any legacy in the world.But the Disciple insisted again asking: “Master don’t you have anything to say?”

After long moments, the Master finally answers:

“Life is nothing more than just a dream,”

In saying this, The Master expired.

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have a dreamy day
 
(one more day of work and I’ll be back)

 

(I read this at (the witty word wizards blog)… Cat, I asked her if I could add it to the zendictive collection of zen tales and she warmly did not hesitate in saying “Yes” which is what I love about her and those here at WordPress…sharing wisdom! )

Catlas Crosses the Internet

(from Cat’s blog here) For those of you who have not visited Cat’s blog, I highly recommend you read her words and poems filled with wisdom.

The following is a beautiful story, but it is not my story.  It touched me deeply when I read it and wanted to share it with you.

“Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it.
From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse.
But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice
something quite amazing.

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His
owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.

This alone is amazing. If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear
the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you
will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.

Attached to the horse’s halter is a small bell. It lets the blind
friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.

As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see that the horse
with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the
blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray.

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each
evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, Making sure that the blind friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges.

He watches over us and even brings others into our life
To help us when we are in need..

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing
bell of those who God places in our lives.

Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way.”

“Live simply,
Love generously,
Care deeply,
Speak kindly.”

Author Unknown/ Image source Unknown

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Matthew 15:14

 Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

(I have seen the blind leading the blind. Two men with walking canes outreached, making their way the best they can. Unity in the attempt to reach a destination. They did not allow their handicap to stop them from going where they felt they needed to travel to. Rather, they had the strength and courage to venture out in the world blindly to pursue a goal. I can only imagine what it would be like to go into the world without sight.)

The parable of the blind leading the blind can also relate to a man without vision, insight, knowledge and lacks heart followed by a man who would follow another over a cliff because they have not the sense to make their own way in life. Hence, those with sight will lead the blind.

We know nothing of our universe, little about our solar system and a handful of knowledge about this planet and a tid bit of knowledge about ourselves, the human race. (Do you disagree?) We haven’t a cure for the common cold, have we yet to cure cancers or recreate life in its miraculous form or defeat death and its mysterious grasp on human nature? Are we not the blind leading the blind. Or the blind horse and the guide horse.

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I have often said about control…This planet spins through space at 66,000 miles an hour and no one in the drivers seat and you want to say your in control? We are like fleas on a dog and have no way of steering our vessel. There-fore, perhaps we are like the blind-horse and the planet is the guide horse.

I did re-construction on my link (Zen Trails) the page with a list of all stories posted on this blog. I hoped to make it easier for some one (including myself) to find the story they would like to read. Check it out and let me know what you think. (top left)

have an insightful day

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever.

 The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh. The Japanese did not like the taste. To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen and they did not like frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price.

So fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped moving. They were tired and dull, but alive. Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference. Because the fish did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste. The Japanese preferred the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish. So how did Japanese fishing companies solve this problem? How do they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan? If you were consulting the fish industry, what would you recommend?

How Japanese Fish Stay Fresh: To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks. But now they add a small shark to each tank. The shark eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state. The fish are challenged.

Moral; Have you realized that some of us are also living in a pond but most of the time tired & dull, so we need a Shark in our life to keep us awake and moving? Basically in our lives Sharks are new challenges to keep us active and lively….. The more intelligent, persistent and competent you are, the more you enjoy a challenge.

  If your challenges are the correct size, and if you are steadily conquering those challenges, you are Conqueror. You think of your challenges and get energized. You are excited to try new solutions. You have fun. You are alive!

food for thought

The games now are nothing like when I was growing up. Play Stations, Wii and kids skateboarding on handrails. The games are challenging and filled with puzzles like mazes and shooting galleries that work on a memory based play, remembering where you got killed on your last try, is a far more challenging experience than the old chess, checkers, monopoly games. Of course the physical games of baseball, football and basketball are still exhilarating. Do something challenging and see if you don’t feel more alive. Of course some of these video games can be frustrating. (grin) But if you are saying to yourself, “I am bored!” Then perhaps you need to be challenged. (as if life isn’t challenging enough)

 Mark Twain

“I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.” 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

always set the trail, never follow the path

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The Zen Trials

by Art~

my zen gets tested everyday
what is zen? work or play

is the glass half full
or is it half empty
I look and I see
that I have plenty

I see the dog has no patience
when it comes to eating
devouring my shoe, I pat his head
rather than give him a beating

the water faucet drips
an annoying sound
I submerse myself
in its constant pound

a man speeds around me
and my slow moving car
he raises his middle finger
I’m number one, a motorist star

I stub my toe and I’m
not sure what to do
be as silent as a zen master?
no, I yell out, “my toe is now blue.”

new tests will come
the grades aren’t kept in a file
measuring the progress
of my zen trials

have a challenging day

Art~

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Art~

Emma (Sunshine),

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