One Wooden Crutch
- I saw something odd this morning as I walked to the Smile of the
Beyond. Resting against the planter, in front of Divine Robe Supreme,
on the blue block, aka Parsons Blvd, was a single wooden crutch. I
did not alter my pace, but as I scooted by in the chilly January air,
its singular presence struck me as being, not so much an odd new
decoration, but rather, as somehow announcing that something wondrous
had transpired there the night before.
I had a limited time to observe it, and, did not physically examine
it. My impression however, was that it appeared to be in excellent
condition. It was clearly not, let's say, a single raggedy one, you
might find crooked under the shoulder of a ferocious pirate (think
Long John Silver). Instead, it was clean, in good condition, and, I do
not excel at such subtle insights, but it occurred to me, that it just
might likely have belonged to good person with a bad limp.
Now we all have seen crutches hard at work in pairs, wedged
precariously under shoulders of unfortunate individuals. And even
most, I dare say, have seen them in pairs, not so well displayed in
rubbish bins, waiting to be carted off to the great crutch heaven in
the sky. But it is indeed a rare occurrence, to see just one, by itself,
doing nothing but leaning against a frozen planter on parsons blvd,
or, pick a any nice street with shops near where you live.
I don't know why, but the appearance of a lone crutch immediately
manifested within me a remarkable scenario. My immediate thought was,
that it had gotten there neither by happenstance or error. (Cynics
please look away) But I clearly imagined that on the previous evening
a lone traveler had made their way up from deep within the shuddering
dank realms of the New York transit authority, after arriving home
from Manhattan on the F train.
They had gamely hoped up the steep grimy steps of the Parsons Blvd
station, and when they at last reached the remarkable strip of blue
shops, grace had suddenly descended, in such brilliant abundance, that
they had been able to give up that crutch and walk freely and joyously
They had leaned the crutch against the wall Of Divine Robe Supreme, as
a simple, and singularly descriptive memorial, of where the miraculous
event had transpired. Whether they were just receptive, and whether or
not visions, or light, or celestial music was involved I do not know.
Lets say the image boldly planted in my noggin was limited to, "wow a
miracle happened here last night, let's get to work, and celebrate
over a cup of organic coffee."
Now later in the day a more likely, and unkinder version played itself
out, in the dim regions of my more practical consciousness. In this,
less celebratory version, I saw some kids playing around a few blocks
away. They had grabbed the crutch out of the trash and when they grew
tired of it, then just left it against the first wall they came to.
My heart, for whatever reason though, was quite happy to still cling
to the tempting, (your turn cynics) improbable possibility, of the
miracle of Parsons blvd instead.
Now, as to why my thoughts, spent so much time invested in lingering
crutch stories is that recently, while in the Dominican Republic, I
cohabited a hotel room with a pair of aluminum crutches buried in the
closet. The previous tenant of the room, had bought a new pair, just
to remove the rubber bottoms off the legs. Another friend of ours,
who is a full time crutch user, had worn the rubber feet off of his
current pair. The friend, who had previously inhabited the room, had
gone out, looking for rubber crutch bottoms and could not find any in
Punta Cana. He so wanted to please this full time crutch user, he
bought a brand new pair and simply took the rubber bottoms off the new
pair to give them to the guy who needed them.
He swore me to secrecy, that is, not reveal, that he had gone to such
great expensive lengths to please the poor guy, who really just needed
new rubber bottoms, and did not want new crutches. The aluminum
crutches, now rendered nearly useless, became a minor inconvenience in
my life for nearly two weeks. They occasionally bumped over and
pushed into shirts on hangers and routinely fell against my chest when
opening the closet door. For no sensible reason, I put up with them,
as part of my rooms inventory, despite the fact that they were a minor
daily inconvenience. I suppose I imagined, that that a greater purpose
would eventually reveal itself, it didn't. In fact, when I vacated
the room they remained there, lurking in the back of the closet, still
wrapped up in neat clear plastic bags.
I hoped, and I have no reason not to believe otherwise, that the maid
who swept away all the remnants of my, and the previous occupants
existence, which included a pair of unused flippers, eventually put
them to some good use. Sold them maybe, gave them to a friend, who
knows, but had to scratch their head and explain, that they were nice
crutches, but oddly, had no rubber bottoms.
When I left the Smile at closing, the lone mysterious wooden crutch
was still leaning against the planter in front of Divine Robe store.
- Hi Utpal,
Can I invoke the "better late than never" maxim in my belated reply to
your imaginative and inspired story about the wooden crutch leaning
against the store planter in front of Divine Robe Supreme?
I begin with the serendipity of a recent queue at "The Panorama of My
Silence Heart Cafe" in which three recent posters on the Inspiration
Group stood in line all in a row to buy coffee and breakfast. The
three "characters" were myself, you and Chanakhya (whose name I can
never :-) spell without looking it up in a centre directory first). As
we pondered scones and muffins and lattes, we shared tidbits and
reactions related to our recent posts at that time. I was the much
deserved recipient of some friendly ribbing about my confessed
dissatisfaction with the sense of community/conversation in the forum
these days and we also talked about your crutch story and Chanakhya's
story about getting back a lost wallet with money for a postage stamp
left inside where the stamp had been.
Your "what if" imaginings about the wooden crutch are engaging and
show that you are as much talented writer as you are a video artist.
I hope you continue writing and sharing your efforts here on the
Inspiration Group. I always enjoy your videos but am not surprised in
the least that your talents encompass a broader range than from behind
a camera and editing software.
Wishing you all the best in whatever direction your creative efforts
take you in your circumstances as a New York "local" which must seem
hugely different since Guru's passing.
- Hi Sharani
Thanks for your encouragement, belated or otherwise. To be honest,
just bumping into you out of the blue, downwind of fresh coffee was a
great treat. I find that those kind of spontaneous personal
encounters tend to be the most significant and special to me. It is
like a rare and unexpected gift. A sweet reminder, that we are never
alone. That someone is always watching, and caring, about our humble
efforts, even if that person is called the Supreme. And once in a
while we receive a little gift of recognition that adds a little spark
to our day. (You did so similarly, in a dank internet room in Kuantan
A background to the story I suppose is that at the heart of it, all
enterprises are significant. Those who toll there day in and day out
can forget from time to time how wonderful, safe, and nurturing they
are. And of course why people are drawn to them, to sit, to drink
coffee, and catch a pause in an otherwise chaotic day.
Seeing the crutch just touched that cord in me. Miracles are taking
place in and around the blue block every day if not every moment. I
wrote to remind myself this and perhaps have a little fun.
Also, I should add that I appreciate your most significant
contributions to this site. I cannot match the prowess of the
assistant mod in commenting about your efforts, but let me just
say, I too am a fan of your art, you work, and your tireless gift to
this page that changes and evolves before our eyes
- Hi Utpal,
Reading this nice reply was such a treat! Thanks so much. Perhaps my
analogy to the rare and unexpected gift part would be that reading
encouraging posts like yours are like an unexpected sighting of a
beautiful bird in your backyard. Then again if one isn't much of a
birdwatcher that comparison might not resonate. For instance, if it is
a dive-bombing bird like Mahiruha encountered in his yard, you might
say "how is that sweet?" In my case at least, it means I appreciated
it a lot.
Since I have always been on the customer side of the fence on the
"blue block" as you call it, I haven't heard many tales of how people
have been touched by Guru's philosophy and light just through the
enterprises themselves. Do you have any stories that could be easily
related here from over the years? Would I be remembering correctly
that your point of view includes that as an employee at "The Smile of
I've seen booklets with customer comments at Annam Brahma from times
like when Guru gave a concert for the regular customers one time. Is
there anything similar with "The Smile"?