THREE MYSTERIES

 coloursunet meditation

Three Mysteries

 

“BOB””

I was about four years old. I was standing on the footpath outside our house. There was no-one in sight, the neighbourhood was deserted.

It was a grey, cloudy day. Without the sun the day had an eerie, timeless quality to it.

Indeed, there was a strange tension in the air, almost an air of immanence, as though something unexpected was about to happen on this quiet suburban street.

It was at this moment that a gigantic, fully grown ram with a magnificent set of spiralling horns burst into view at the top of the hill and without pausing, hurtled down the street towards me.
Stunned I stood transfixed as the ram raced towards, then past me, totally ignoring my presence.

Its whole being was fixed on some specific purpose on the far horizon. You could see this from the expression in its eyes and the determined set of its head. He wasn’t just aimlessly running around, oh no. Even I, a 4 year old, could tell that this was a creature with a purpose and nothing was going to stop it. In retrospect it was a good demonstration of why they named the device that batters down walls a “batteringram” after this single minded creature.

He kept going down the street, then up the next hill and disappeared over the crest. He never slowed down.The whole thing was over in seconds.

But the funny thing is, in that brief span of time I thought recognised this mad animal I had never seen before.

You see at the time the Australian currency included the shilling, a silver coin equivalent to 12 pence as it was then, around the size and value of the modern 10cent coin. But of course, this being Oz-traaliah, everyone called the shilling a “BOB”, so if something cost 3 shillings at the shop, the shopkeeper would say, “That’s 3 Bob, luv.”

By what linguistic logic the shilling came to be called a “bob” I know not.

But as it happened, on the reverse side of the shilling was portrayed the head of a noble ram, adorned with a mighty set of horns. This was a proud symbol in the old days before the country became an open-cut mine, back when Australia, as they used to say, “rode on the sheep’s back“.

But no-one had ever explained to me the major role Primary Industry played in Australia’s economic prosperity, so in my simple-minded, four year old way, I thought the sheep’s name was Bob and that the shilling was named after good old Robert the sheep.

So naturally when I’d recovered from the shock I ran inside the house yelling,

“Mum! Mum! I saw Bob!”

Alas, “Bob” was long gone and I was left the sole witness to this inexplicable event.

Where had he come from? Where was he going? I never found out.

shilling bob

*

BAFFLED

We were sitting in the sun on a bench at the intersection, watching the human traffic ebb and flow..

Across from me on opposite corners stood a pub and a pawn shop. (This is back before Cash Converters monopolised the industry). On one corner stood the Pub. On the other stood the Pawn shop.

This being Pension day, there was quite a bit of trade going into both establishments, and indeed, a fair bit of back and forth too. People would have a couple of drinks then stagger across the road to pick up their wedding-ring or toaster-oven or pay off some of the interest. Then back to the pub or home with their reclaimed possessions.

I was about to go when a blind man with a white cane emerged from the public bar. With slightly dishevelled dignity, he tapped his way across the street and into the pawn-shop. Curious as to what he might emerge with I waited.

Soon enough he came out and carrying a cheap, plastic 18 inch portable TV.

“Why does a blind man need a TV?” I asked my Personal Assistant.

“Maybe he listens to it,” she replied practically.

“Wait here, ” I said, and got up and crossed over to the pawn shop with a question I wanted to ask.

“Alright,” I said, when I returned, “so why does he need a colour TV?”

digital revolution

*

BLIND

It was Friday night in the city. We were being carried along by the human throng. We’d had a joint in a quiet alley and were now enjoying just drifting along, taking in the sensations of a Friday Night; the jostling, jovial crowds, the many lights, the kaleidoscope of sounds, loudspeakers, sales pitches, music, the murmuring crowd and some where on the edges of audibility amongst the cacophony, I could hear the Krishna’s doing their Friday evening parade thru the city.

For it was a feature of city life at the time, that each Friday evening the local Hare Krishna mob would emerge onto the busy streets in full regalia, chanting and drumming and tinkling finger-cymbals as they danced/jogged their way through crowds of unbelieving consumers. The Head Hare’s would be leading, dancing and drumming up a storm while they were trailed by their coterie of followers, showing diminishing degrees of enthusiasm as they trailed towards the back. And right back of the parade last of all came the women, meek, mild and subservient, as befits a gender apparently not as spiritually evolved as their men.

Despite the Hare K’s attitude to women I quite enjoyed their weekly ritual. It was a bit of colour and exotica to add to the mix of the street scene humaine. And I’m always a sucker for a bit of incense.

But this Friday there was something wrong, something slightly off-key with their chanting. I could hear it as they approached, there was a discord to their music..some other element, like an out of time echo had been added that tipped them towards pandemonium.

What was different, I puzzled?

As they got closer I could hear them more distinctly and it became apparent that the “echo” was in fact another, loud, human voice accompanying the parade. It did not appear to be chanting though. In fact, now I could hear it better, it was..

..swearing volubly a vile stream of profanities.

Ok. I had just time to take in this information when the Krishna’s

jogged into view.

And indeed that night it was more of a jog than a shuffle. They were moving at double their usual rate of progress and the chanting seemed more than a bit hurried. While they were still all smiling their plastered-on “enlightened” beatific smiles, the smiles looked a bit strained this time and one or two appeared to be sweating profusely. I noticed also that one or two of the Krishna girls had forgotten their place and ignoring precedence, had scurried up into the middle of the pack.

The reason for all this disarray was soon apparent. For immediately behind them followed a very large, very angry, blind man, who was not only yelling abuse at them at the top of his lungs, but was also swinging wildly with his cane, apparently in a brutal attempt to inflict injuries upon the terrified yet confused Krishna’s.

Yer Fukin’ Bastards!!,” he bellowed, red-faced and sweating, as he slashed blindly in front of him,” I’ll Fukin Kill yez! I’ll kill yez all yer fukin @#**#!!

The Krishnas tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. They never looked back. They kept smiling. But they never slowed down either.

People stopped to stare but did not interfere.The parade passed by. The chanting and the drumming and the tinkling of finger-chimes grew fainter and fainter until the last thing I could hear, drifting over the ever present muzak, was the blind man’s voice, still screaming at his unseen enemies..

“Come back here yer Bastards!! I’ll kill yer all! Yer bloody fukin…”

Why was the blind-man so angry at the Krishnas? Was it all a misunderstanding, or were there deep religious issues at stake. I never found out. It was one of Life’s Mysteries.

krishna 2parade

***

Float Jpig

***

and on today for those nearby..

July 2013 Handbill KUDOS W frameJPIGreduced

***

!

The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet, an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanists AND the Church of the Universe and the President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity.

Beats working

***

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~ by reverendhellfire on July 28, 2013.

4 Responses to “THREE MYSTERIES”

  1. A well-written, enjoyable, whimsical read, thank you so much, Rev.

    • Thanks Arch. Yes, it’s the little Mysteries that add Value to Life. Like; why, when I bought 6 pairs of matching socks, do I now have 13 socks, none of which matches another! Mysterium!

  2. Delightfully described memories of times gone by. Life would be very boring if there were no such mysteries, especially for a child.

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