Weapons of Mass Digression


Quite a week….


I lean back, silently amazed by the irony. Funny how the muses conspire in this strange, twisted game….if only we knew the rules.

I read the mail again slowly, carefully parsing the backwards squiggles. Translating in the back of my mind, as halting as my steps.

The boy will be given his Siddur soon by the school, the prayers and songs of his people, value of tradition, bound in soft brown leather, engraved, yadda yadda. I skim down the screen again, past the whys and the wherefores, the important moments and the lifelong memories.

Words of wisdom. We are asked to write a short note to be printed inside, containing caring thoughts and words of wisdom for the boy.

Words of wisdom.

My god. I almost laugh.

What can I possibly write, today of all days? Words of foolishness perhaps? Dramatic idiocy? Long dark howls of impotent rage? What have I learned that could possibly be of any use to him in the strange, malignant kaleidescope of a world that eats me alive on a regular basis. What bits of sense can I mine from abject despair and creeping insecurity?

What koan that I have tried to live by would be appropriate for this, considering I have ignored them all quite stupidly lately?

People always expect others to behave as they do? No….

The key to happiness is living with things that are wrong? No…

Never let them see you bleed? More no…

I read the letter again, and again…and close it silently, eyes shut. No reply.

Perhaps the only wisdom I have to give right now is the realization that I have nothing to say. The wisdom of failure, and of uncertainty. The wisdom to know when to wait until another day, for another dawn…when the ruins have shifted.

That is the lesson then that I have learned that I hope he never does….that sometimes, even wisdom lies broken.


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