Ribbons and Bows

Ribbons and Bows

         Deep blue water held the moon and the clouds in a sensuous night time embrace. The castle’s rectangular outline dominated the village rooftops and church spires receding into the distance. The old man in the worn fedora stepped lightly down the cobblestoned streets, antique manual portable typewriter held lovingly under one arm.

          But first he had to take something to the return desk.

          “I’d like to return this please,” he said to the young woman, setting a small oddly shaped ball of fabric wrapped up with twine on the counter.

          She picked it up and looked at it like the man in the MC Escher print.

          “What is it,” she said, setting it back down on the counter.

          Professor Calloway leaned in closely and whispered, “it’s karma.”

          The young woman said, “I don’t believe in it. I’m a Christian not a Buddhist or Hindu.”

          “Think of it as forgiveness, then.”

          Impatiently, she took a huge scissors and snipped away the twine, unfolded the fabric, and revealed a small box, which read:

          Black typewriter ribbon

          “We don’t sell typewriter ribbon. Who uses typewriters anymore anyway?”

          “Reincarnated Souls longing for a simpler time.”

          “We don’t sell these; I can’t take it as a return. Take it over to the past life karma store.”

          “So, you do believe you’ve lived before?”

          “I told you I do not. This is the only life I have ever had and will ever have!”

          “How do you know about the past life karma store, then?”

          “I used to work there before I got hired here. The pay is better and I don’t get nearly as many weirdoes.”

          He looked deeply at her, she looked just as deeply right back. He read her name tag and said, “Ok, Janet, I’m sorry to have bothered you. I’ll be going.”

          She rewrapped the small box in the fabric, taking time to tie the twine in an attractive bow and said, “not that I believe it, but why is a typewriter ribbon your karma?”

          “It was part of a portable manual typewriter my mother bought me when I was 12. I wrote so much I wore the ribbon out. And what I wrote created a lot of karma for me. All of it was my free will choice, but now that I’m in my eighties, I’m trying to clean up as much as I can so I don’t have to reincarnate.”

          The last she saw of him was the back of his hat as it floated out the door amidst the crowd of shoppers, a faded blue seagull bobbing out of sight on a faded blue sea.

          The past life karma shop was open for business even though it was past midnight in the village, because tonight the yellow star’s appearance next to the moon signified the one night of the year karma could be returned no questions asked.

          “Professor! Good to see you,” the clerk said, “what do you have for me?”

          The shelves behind the clerk were cluttered with bric-a-brac. He’d had a busy day. A few stragglers lingered in the adjacent café, vacillating as to whether or not they really did want to take advantage of karma amnesty day.

          They drank coffee and looked over diagrams and blueprints thinking they could analyze if it would somehow be more fun actually, to keep their karma and work it out for themselves, than just dissolving their ties to earth as the reflections in the water would fade when the sun came up.

          “Ah, the typewriter ribbon,” the clerk said, “this is a big one. You know I need the typewriter to go with it though, of course?”

          The professor gingerly placed it on the counter.

          The clerk smiled somewhat bittersweetly, saying, “this is quite a gift you’re giving Janet.”

          “Yes, I’m happy to help her. Not only did she tie such a pretty bow, but she needs to be able to go to school, or at least have enough money, time and space to write. She’s more of a poet than I would ever be. And she knows about karma and reincarnation all too well, even though she cleverly wouldn’t let on.”

          “I know,” the clerk said, “I expect she’ll come back to work here soon enough. For now, shall we go have a coffee together and try and figure out what those shapes are by the lake?”

         

         

         

         

         

         

 

           

 

         

         

         

         

         

 

          But now, he’d ascended enough unknown plateaus to know just another awaited further on. Another summit, beyond which lay summits upon summits.

          All untrammeled by perceptions, pure vistas of wind driven awareness alive with the transforming sound.

 Ribbons and Bows

         

 

          Deep blue water held the moon and the clouds in a sensuous night time embrace. The castle’s rectangular outline dominated the village rooftops and church spires receding into the distance. The old man in the worn fedora stepped lightly down the cobblestoned streets, antique manual portable typewriter held lovingly under one arm.

          But first he had to take something to the return desk.

          “I’d like to return this please,” he said to the young woman, setting a small oddly shaped ball of fabric wrapped up with twine on the counter.

          She picked it up and looked at it like the man in the MC Escher print.

          “What is it,” she said, setting it back down on the counter.

          Professor Calloway leaned in closely and whispered, “it’s karma.”

          The young woman said, “I don’t believe in it. I’m a Christian not a Buddhist or Hindu.”

          “Think of it as forgiveness, then.”

          Impatiently, she took a huge scissors and snipped away the twine, unfolded the fabric, and revealed a small box, which read:

          Black typewriter ribbon

          “We don’t sell typewriter ribbon. Who uses typewriters anymore anyway?”

          “Reincarnated Souls longing for a simpler time.”

          “We don’t sell these; I can’t take it as a return. Take it over to the past life karma store.”

          “So, you do believe you’ve lived before?”

          “I told you I do not. This is the only life I have ever had and will ever have!”

          “How do you know about the past life karma store, then?”

          “I used to work there before I got hired here. The pay is better and I don’t get nearly as many weirdoes.”

          He looked deeply at her, she looked just as deeply right back. He read her name tag and said, “Ok, Janet, I’m sorry to have bothered you. I’ll be going.”

          She rewrapped the small box in the fabric, taking time to tie the twine in an attractive bow and said, “not that I believe it, but why is a typewriter ribbon your karma?”

          “It was part of a portable manual typewriter my mother bought me when I was 12. I wrote so much I wore the ribbon out. And what I wrote created a lot of karma for me. All of it was my free will choice, but now that I’m in my eighties, I’m trying to clean up as much as I can so I don’t have to reincarnate.”

          The last she saw of him was the back of his hat as it floated out the door amidst the crowd of shoppers, a faded blue seagull bobbing out of sight on a faded blue sea.

          The past life karma shop was open for business even though it was past midnight in the village, because tonight the yellow star’s appearance next to the moon signified the one night of the year karma could be returned no questions asked.

          “Professor! Good to see you,” the clerk said, “what do you have for me?”

          The shelves behind the clerk were cluttered with bric-a-brac. He’d had a busy day. A few stragglers lingered in the adjacent café, vacillating as to whether or not they really did want to take advantage of karma amnesty day.

          They drank coffee and looked over diagrams and blueprints thinking they could analyze if it would somehow be more fun actually, to keep their karma and work it out for themselves, than just dissolving their ties to earth as the reflections in the water would fade when the sun came up.

          “Ah, the typewriter ribbon,” the clerk said, “this is a big one. You know I need the typewriter to go with it though, of course?”

          The professor gingerly placed it on the counter.

          The clerk smiled somewhat bittersweetly, saying, “this is quite a gift you’re giving Janet.”

          “Yes, I’m happy to help her. Not only did she tie such a pretty bow, but she needs to be able to go to school, or at least have enough money, time and space to write. She’s more of a poet than I would ever be. And she knows about karma and reincarnation all too well, even though she cleverly wouldn’t let on.”

          “I know,” the clerk said, “I expect she’ll come back to work here soon enough. For now, shall we go have a coffee together and try and figure out what those shapes are by the lake?”

         

         

         

         

         

         

 

           

 

         

         

    

 

 

 

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