Wisdom So Porous

Would you believe this is an exquisite piece of abstract art created by one of Belgium’s unknown but brilliant painters?

Would you believe that the essence of life lies dormant but reachable within the folds of this greyness?

Would you believe that this is a napkin from Izy’s Coffee in Ghent centrum, augmented by my black pen strokes?

You get full points if you said no, no and yes!

Yesterday morning I embraced my cappuccino on the long couch in Izy’s, accompanied by my friend Michel. He’s a smart guy.

Our conversation wandered the map of human experience. We were cozy together in our words.

At one point, Michel said something that widened my eyes. I was suspended for a few seconds and then reached for napkin and pen. “I have to write about this!” Since I had already started a blog post about Stonehenge, I knew it would be a tomorrow project.

Well, tomorrow is today. The napkin lies on my knee, ready for revelation. But then there are the twists and turns of fate: grey napkin and black ink.

I have no idea what these words are! I remember being enthralled as Michel spoke but I can’t remember what he said. Actually, such artful forgetting has become quite common for me.

I’ve scrunched my eyes and so far have made out two words: “In everything …” That seems like a good start. In the interest of desperation (for who wants to neglect wisdom?) I moved to the good light of the kitchen. I turned on my phone’s flashlight. I went to the window so the light of day could solve my problem. Niet.

In a fresh spurt of creativity, I blamed Bart and Larissa at Izy’s for having grey napkins. That didn’t help much so I changed the target. “Why do you buy these pens with black black ink?”

Oh, Bruce … give it a rest.

Perhaps meditation will help. I’ll be so gosh darned relaxed that the words will float off the paper to my heart.

Sadly, no floating.

So … I now return to frantic concentration. Give me a minute.

There’s a whole bunch of tiny words near the bottom edge of the napkin. They must contain the kernel of Michel’s insight. But they’re just random scratches to me.

I give up. When I see Michel again, I’ll press him for the wisest thing he ever said. He probably won’t remember.

And there you have it. The napkin now sits in my left hand. I do believe it’s laughing at me.

Oh well

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