Thursday, January 1, 2009

Deep Wisdom


That's what y'all hang around here, for, right?  And here we are, New Year's Day- the premier day of the year for passing good, useful wisdom around.

As it happens, I have some for ya, right here.  :-)

Years ago- I was visiting my younger brother in Boulder, Colorado.  It's a university town- one of the renowned party schools of the world.  Tons of well-to-do elite scions floating around town, with money to spend.

So of course, there's a downtown with plenty of flashy shops to soak up all the excess cash.  And lots of attractions.  My brother was taking me there to get some lunch in one of the many up-scale boutique nosherys; and specifically to experience the abundant buskers.

It wasn't a word I was familiar with up to then- they're street performers; expecting you to put a bit in the hat after you enjoy their act.  My brother told me that an extraordinary collection of wildly diverse and insanely talented buskers had also been attracted to the huge supply of loosely attached dollars- so it sounded like good fun to me.

We drove to an off-main parking lot (close in was always impossible) and walked two blocks into this core area of yuppie enterprise.  One block away- I stopped- and started to laugh.

And I couldn't stop.  I kept laughing- in various uncontrollable fashions- all the way up to the object of my amusement.

It was a New Age bookstore- advertising, in big block letters obvious a block away as its principle product-

EXOTIC WISDOM!

Ok, I'm still laughing.

Oh. my. god.

And, of course, the windows were full of spiffy tools- Buddha and Ganesh statues, books on Zen stained-glass making, Druid-Sufi t-shirts, you name it.

Hey, man!  Don't gimme none o' that HOME-GROWED wisdom!  I want me the real, EXOTIC stuff!!

LOL!!!!!  I am, truly, still laughing.

See- in my book- genuine wisdom is; um WISDOM.  And utterly priceless; wherever you can find it.  Its always rare, and hard to find.

And I do truly think anybody who goes looking for EXOTIC wisdom- has utterly failed to understand what wisdom is.

Please understand, I'm not opposed to picking up a bit of wisdom from Buddha, Master Kong, Pliny the Elder or Younger, Mel Brooks, or any of them guys.  It's just that in my experience, what they have to offer is truly no more acute than the insights to be gained from my neighbor; his grandmother, or my almost 4 year old daughter.  And the proportions of wisdom to nonsense are really the same from one source to another, too.

That's all I'm going to offer today- take any scrap of wisdom you can get ahold of, and hang on to it.  

It's about all we can do, in the days to come.

oh, yeah.  The buskers were great.  One of them had an eidetic memory - for Zip codes.  He had anyone in the audience tell him a Zip code- and he would tell you exactly where it was. Like, in a big city, the block.

And he could.  All except- mine, for some baffling reason.  He knew minute towns of 50 people all over the US- but not mine.  hm.

8 comments:

jewishfarmer said...

Makes you long for the days when "exotic" was a code word for "sexual" doesn't it. Then it might actually make a little sense ;-).

Sharon

Abbie said...

It's interesting how many Americans view some "exotic" people as wise but many others as incapable, like by believing that aliens built the pyramids or stonehenge.

And I agree that the widsom of people right here is valuable, too! And probably more applicable to our everyday lives, since it's local.

Hank said...

Chuckle. My sweetie has learned that if I start to home in on one of those crystal-wacko vendors, to pretend she doesn't know me. I do the wide-eyed hippie routine for a while asking what all these crystals can do, then slowly become more and more agitated, til I'm shouting

"You must take these powerful crystals back where they came from!! They were where they _belonged_ and you've moved them, broken them apart, scattered them. Put them back! PEOPLE LIKE YOU put the world out of balance ...."

Verde said...

Aren't those groovy stores funny? Too bad the wisdom is seen to be someplace outside of ourselves.

Greenpa said...

Boy, Sharon watch out! when you start making those "makes you long for the days" comments- it starts to dawn on you that you're sounding like your parents. Old fogeys! :-) I'm terrified when I hear myself do it.

Abbie - yeah, weird, but very common. Related to the "fifty mile" rule for experts; the further you are from your home, the more expertise people believe you have.

Hank - I've GOT to see that! hilarious!

Verde- yeah. What we didn't get into here is the real nature of wisdom- that's been totally elusive for about 25,000 years now- yet most of us eventually know it when we find it. Mostly!

RC said...

I prefer erotic wisdom, but if there is none available, I can certainly make the most of carnal knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I really needed this wisdom and the laugh.
Deb

Thistle said...

Couldn't agree more!