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Dec 22, 2018 21:24:02

Parable of arrows

by @vickenstein | 265 words | 198πŸ”₯ | 200πŸ’Œ

Victoria Maung

Current day streak: 198πŸ”₯
Total posts: 200πŸ’Œ
Total words: 51024 (204 pages πŸ“„)

It was many years ago, I solemnly remembered

the life story of a child, like a budding flower

growing up within bright sunshine walls,

but from the enveloping, motherly nethers, 

though well meaning genuinely belies 

disguised, salvos arise. as one arrow

lands and makes its mark,

pain pierces the blossom. 

Suffering, it shrieks,

withers, shrinks

as if a second

hits, unseen. 

Barrage flying,

another strikesβ€”

peace.


Lending no single question 

to the quiver, as child beat along

silently, reposed on swift feet, looking

not for the light but for presence of petrichor, 

thoughtful of neither name, shaft, nor bow, unconcerned 

if first or last, the nature of the unbeknownst being no weakness.


⛆ ⛆ ⛆ ⛆ ⛆


I was inspired by two distinct parables popular in Buddhism. One teaches the lesson that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. When you're struck by an arrow, or unavoidable circumstance in life, there's the immediate physical pain. But you have active control over about how to manifest suffering, which is the second arrow. We can choose to let the pain slow us down, blame other people, distract ourselves from our main goals, or take control of the pain.

The second parable teaches the functional meaninglessness of metaphysical thoughts. If a man is struck by a poisoned arrow, it does not matter who the archer was or where the arrow was made in light of the need for immediate medical treatment. If the injured man pondered these thoughts, then he would die while those ultimate answers still elude him, with nothing but speculations at best.

  • 1

    @vickenstein Wow what a great story and the write-up that followed it. I love the novelty and clarity in your writing. Thoroughly enjoyed this! The second parable was a new lesson I never heard. Just wow.

    KP avatar KP | Dec 23, 2018 22:18:20
    • 1

      @kp I'm glad you enjoyed this! I'm always scouring (the internet) for stories, especially fables in folklores and religions because poetry is always a fun way to re-tell them, or maybe re-invigorate old perspectives.

      Victoria Maung avatar Victoria Maung | Dec 24, 2018 00:09:48
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