Friday, April 18, 2008

pigs and masters

Writing exercise: Use the koan from the March 26th post, called "insecurities" and write for ten minutes. Keep your pen on the page don't edit for spelling or anything.

Heres the koan:

Life as a Pig
One day, a old master had a vision of his next life. He immediately called in his favorite disciple and begged a favor of him.
"Anything for you master." the disciple replied.
"In my next life, I will come back as a pig. Soon after I die, our sow will give birth and I will be the fourth pig of the litter. You will recognize me by a mark on my brow. When that happens, please take a sharp knife and end my life quickly."
Within the year, the master passed away and the sow gave birth. The disciple sharpened his knife and found the small piglet. Suddenly the little pig screamed "Stop! Don't kill me!"
The disciple dropped his knife in surprise and stared at the little pig. "When I was like you I didn't know what a pig's life would be like. It's great. Just let me go."

What kind of master gives those kinds of orders? There's judgment written all over that one and it doesn't take so much to know that a pigs life could be a lot better than this one (unless the pig was born into a feed lot), certainly more mindful and uninhibited. But I guess I could be making judgments here myself. The fact that a master sent one of his disciples on such a clearly wrong-headed errand seems like faulty logic. It occurs to me that perhaps there is some unreliable narration involved. And then of course I think of myself, because when am I at my most unreliable is when there is wishful thinking involved. And I wonder how many pigs partake in that kind of thinking. Not many. But then masters do all the time. Ahh ha, everything is so clear now. So perhaps that is what this koan is all about. Wishful thinking. Which is what will bring me to my novel. Because that is a theme anyway. Or at least I think it is.

And there you have it, just a snippet of the unintelligible things I wrote to myself today.
As Always (perhaps not),