hide

Read Next

The Burning House

From the WIkipedia entry on Upaya in Buddhism, translated into English roughly as "skillful or expedient means to an end" --

"Shariputra, suppose that in a certain town in a certain country there was a very rich man. He was far along in years and his wealth was beyond measure. He had many fields, houses and menservants. His own house was big and rambling, but it had only one gate. A great many people--a hundred, two hundred, perhaps as many as five hundred--lived in the house. The halls and rooms were old and decaying, the walls crumbling, the pillars rotten at their base, and the beams and rafters crooked and aslant. At that time a fire suddenly broke out on all sides, spreading through the rooms of the house. The sons of the rich man, ten, twenty perhaps thirty, were inside the house. When the rich man saw the huge flames leaping up on every side, he was greatly alarmed and fearful and thought to himself, I can escape to safety through the flaming gate, but my sons are inside the burning house enjoying themselves and playing games, unaware, unknowing, without alarm or fear. The fire is closing in on them, suffering and pain threaten them, yet their minds have no sense of loathing or peril and they do not think of trying to escape! "Shariputra, this rich man thought to himself, I have strength in my body and arms. I can wrap them in a robe or place them on a bench and carry them out of the house. And then again he thought, this house has only one gate, and moreover it is narrow and small. My sons are very young, they have no understanding, and they love their games, being so engrossed in them that they are likely to be burned in the fire. I must explain to them why I am fearful and alarmed. The house is already in flames and I must get them out quickly and not let them be burned up in the fire! Having thought in this way, he followed his plan and called to all his sons, saying, 'You must come out at once!" But though the father was moved by pity and gave good words of instruction, the sons were absorbed in their games and unwilling to heed them. They had no alarm, no fright, and in the end no mind to leave the house. Moreover, they did not understand what the fire was, what the house was, what the danger was. They merely raced about this way and that in play and looked at their father without heeding him. "At that time the rich man had this thought: the house is already in flames from this huge fire. If I and my sons do not get out at once, we are certain to be burned. I must now invent some expedient means that will make it possible for the children to escape harm. The father understood his sons and knew what various toys and curious objects each child customarily liked and what would delight them. And so he said to them, 'The kind of playthings you like are rare and hard to find. If you do not take them when you can, you will surely regret it later. For example, things like these goat-carts, deer-carts and ox-carts. They are outside the gate now where you can play with them. So you must come out of this burning house at once. Then whatever ones you want, I will give them all to you!' "At that time, when the sons heard their father telling them about these rare playthings, because such things were just what they had wanted, each felt emboldened in heart and, pushing and shoving one another, they all came wildly dashing out of the burning house."

Beady Blue Eyes

On AMBER EYES AND OTHERS

My whole life I dreamed of the glamour of high school. I recall flipping through my older sister’s yearbook, pointing to the homecoming queen, and saying, “I am going to be just like her.” I can assure you that prophesy never came to pass. For the first few years of high school, I kept to myself, intimidated by others’ friendships that had existed before they could say each other’s names. I was a new girl in ninth grade, and even going on into my junior year, I still hadn’t found my niche. My dreams of being crowned homecoming royalty were completely shot down when I realized I would never get asked to a dance or go on any sort of date that I, myself, wasn’t paying for.

Here’s the kicker: I never thought I was unattractive or weird. Of course, I had my quirks like everyone else, but for the most part, I believed my ugliness remained in the past and, as the entirety of junior high seemed to be, just a bad dream.

I had just gone over the hump of my senior year in high school when I met him. He was in my clothing class, and his face wasn’t a new one to me. I had seen him since I moved there in ninth grade. He hung around the people I was never friends with, and he went to parties I was never invited to. Still, he never caught my eye, and he continued to never catch my eye as we gabbed while he made ridiculously hideous pajama pants. Although he was of an average height, he seemed lurpy. His blonde hair fell like a short curtain over his forehead, and he flipped it out of his eyes about every two minutes. Beady, blue eyes peeked from underneath his blonde drapery, and even though they were small, they were somewhat pretty.

We became friends.

Somehow we got entangled in a dare. Driving down the frontage road in our friend’s car, we stood up so we were out of the sunroof from the chest up, and we kissed. It was just a joke, and I never thought it was anything more. The next time, the encouragement for a kiss came from a stranger. Beady Blue Eyes and I sat on the top of a picnic pavilion in the middle of the night. Someone drove by and chanted for us to lock lips. I never thought Beady Blue Eyes had the guts, but before I knew it, his hand was on the back of my neck, and we kissed a kiss that lasted no more than two seconds. This was a joke too, I thought. We were no more than awkward friends that had been tricked into kissing two times now, and that’s that.

Rendering New Theme...