Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blinded by Ink Blots

This morning, before the weather later took a turn for the worst, I took advantage of the quiet sunshine to go for a ride around a lake near my neighborhood here in Thunder Bay.  My backback held a bottle of water, a book, a journal, and my favorite inky pen. The spot built into my bike frame normally reserved for my water bottle held my travel mug....filled, of course, with delicious fresh dark coffee.

After a tour around the lake, and after exploring some surrounding neighborhoods I had not yet seen, I set up camp at an empty picnic table, did some morning calisthenics, sucked back my entire water bottle, then got to the warm-down routine. Coffee and reading. Mmmmmmmm. Perfect.

I wanted to share a bit of what I was reading this morning, because I was a good moment digesting it this morning....which usually means that it's the kind of thing that is good to be shared with other people.

George A Buttrick writes:
'' A lecturer to a group of businessmen displayed a sheet of white paper on which was one blot. He asked what they saw. All answered: a blot. The test was unfair: it invited the wrong answer. Nevertheless, there is an ingratitude in human nature by which we notice the black disfigurement and forget the widespread mercy. We need to deliberately call to mind the joys of our journey.'' 

I think that we are not naturally optimists. But I also think that many of us, if not most...if not all... wish, however subconsciously, that we were. Sometimes a certain level of deliberateness is required to overcome our ungratefulness, to see through the lies we have come to believe about ourselves and our neighbours, to escape the trap of lazy thought and thoughtless talk....in order to see the paper through the blot. Something like seeing the forest for the trees.


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