is a wealthy and devoted follower of Jainism that maintains an untouchable
to sweep the path before each footfall so no insect might be crushed and
killed while this pious man enjoys a late afternoon
This image may
well be in the apocrypha of my western imagination. But I can see a
real Jainist monk with his yard and a half of cloth holding part of it to
his mouth so as not to accidently kill by ingesting an insect. He is holding
the palm of one hand out for food, and those who give to him will gain advantage in
the passage of souls.
This was the idea
I put in place last night, so as to recover from a nightmare reproduced in
me as a consequence, I guess, of my fuming at C-span while glazing vases.
The nightmare included an election process that had won Dick Armey the
highest office. He was president of the United States. And he
had dispatched teams of volunteers throughout his empire to cajole us into
building pyramids, while he locked himself in the White House to eat
burgers and freedom fries.
Nervously I waited, watching the
driveway. Volunteers arrived at last in a small vehicle. They wore
grey suits, white shirts and red ties, and they all had the dreaming eyes of
drunkards or Christian fanatics. Then, I was suddenly in a village in
Afghanistan watching women being forced to adopt the burqa.
Practice has taught me to deflect bad
dreams as a swordsman might, direct them toward alternative expressions of
the same settling of emotion that causes bad dreams. I lie there a moment in
the dark, and I am made smug by my clever maneuver, until I realize how easy
it is to replace one pompous ass with another.
Yet to be resolved, however, is the
question why some pompous asses are more taxing on the emotions than others.