Last night i slept on one of Martin Buber’s books. I dreamed of a stairway reaching into the cosmos and saw the old gods ascending and descending upon it. And there above it stood a greater, as yet unimagined possibility.
I, too, brutally stabbed you,
for being better than i — now
peace and reason rule instead;
but hope, dear God, has fled!
Lord God, do not disappear
until we have learned to replace
you. Teach us, we pray: What is better
than seeking your face? — Then
we may find you once more.
When Master Chuang was young, he fluttered back and forth on every decision, exhausting himself. One day, after mounting frustration at his own fickleness, he sat pouting by the roadside as a portly old monk passed by.
— Why are you crying, child, asked the expansive holy man.
— I am a butterfly in the wind. The minute i want something, i begin to want something else, replied the sad, precocious child.
The monk plopped his massive frame on a nearby rock and thought in silence for a good long while.
— You must pray to the God of Stubbornness, he finally declared, and waddled away.
Young Master Chuang had never heard of such a silly god, but wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so on the spot he began pestering the makeshift deity for just a little more stubbornness. Lo and behold, the butterfly was soon pinned down! In time it completely petrified, then morphed into a stone, a hill, and finally became an infinitely large mountain. Even now old Master Chuang will say a little prayer on windy mornings, lest he forget to be stubborn that day.