Thursday, August 9, 2012

In a Pond Without a Paddle

Who has two thumbs and was stuck in the pond, holding a severed air line and gasping as his paddle fell out of the boat while said airline snapped off the pond aerator?

Same one who has two thumbs and is typing this.

Serious jackass, or humorous fool seem to be my only choices, really.

Epic scene- We set out to harvest pond weeds. I lent my PVC coated bibs to another farmer so she could clean out some seedling flats, and I scrounged up a pair of one-legged Hally Hansons, missing-suspenders-replaced-by-weedwhacker-line (which broke about the same time the air line snapped). We'd only been harvesting for 45 minutes by quitting time, and I really wanted to stay, and another farmer really didn't, and I asked him to scurry up the bank through a thicket of black berry brambles, so I didn't have to ferry him to the dock on the other side and could continue to launch my 16 foot weighted weed rake out into the depths and pull in some sweet green nitrogen for our compost pile. He said I was a lunatic. I felt my father's marine voice well up inside me, something about this farmer not packing the gear to serve in this beloved temple, but resisted airing that ancient twisted karma and carted his land loving ass to the other side, and set off alone, indignant and self righteous..

As I reached the other shore (of delusion) I became aware of a misstep in my action and way of thinking, but having received the instructions from my teacher to investigate WHO I AM NOW, I proceeded with a spirit of baring witness.

I tied off to my favorite tree trunk. I launched my rake. There was about 70 pounds of pond weeds on the other end. I braced myself and pulled. My vessel started to float to the middle of the pond. Someone untied the rope from the raft and it wasn't me.

Stubbornly, I poled back to my favorite tree trunk, retied an awesome knot to the raft (learned while dog mushing in Alaska) and an even more awesome knot around the trunk, ensuring I would not budge.

To investigate this self, I asked, "are you happy right now?" and the answer was "Fuck off."

Note, this self is lashing out irrationally.

Note, this self is commenting on itself and might catch a swift kick to the teeth if this doesn't stop diagnosing this self.

The farm manager came by and asked where the crew was. I said they went down to the alter to bow out. He asked if I minded moving an aerator to the back of the pond where green scum had accumulated. Eager to work off some of the fire in my soul, I said sure!

I moved one aerator, and the air line wasn't long enough, so I picked another one. Anger fueled my every move.

Wasn't long before I lifted the irrigation pump's intake out of the water and could hear the pump grinding away, sucking in air. Not good. The sprinklers in the field went mysteriously dry, said an irrigator, and I replied, "Yeah, I know something about that."

A few minutes latter, an aerator in the boat as I trucked to the back of the pond and, snap, the small PVC nipple gave out and I had an air hose go wild in the boat. I grabbed it, and while my hands grabbed the hose, they let go of the paddle.

So, there I sat, an air hose spewing air, and my paddle floating five feet away.

I sat there in silence for about 10 minutes. My mind was completely still, actually. There was nothing left. Eventually, a farmer came along and got me my paddle.

The farm manager found me hauling the weed harvest in, saw the broken aerator, and couldn't hold back his laughter.

I chose humorous fool.

Just amazing.


  1. I read about a zen monk who, upon reaching old age and many decades of zen practice, looked back and saw his younger self as a tiger. The current day he felt more like a house cat, and that pleased him.

    You are all tiger at your LiveJournal! It makes me smile with teeth. It is a relief to see other Buddhists make fiery and humorous fools of themselves once in awhile. This made me laugh, and that is much appreciated and universally good ju-ju.

  2. I love the conversations you have with your "self!" I have similar ones with my "self" (or maybe selves) on a regular basis.

  3. To Kate,

    I'm in Bobcat phase, I think! Better than a wild shape changing fox!

    To Spldbch,

    Oh good, I'm not too crazy.

    Big bow,

  4. Sometimes I think I am forever in that boat with the air hose blasting and my paddle floating away...