Thursday, August 5, 2010

Steal Judge this book!

Jen had her birthday on Monday and it went quite well. I wanted to make a nice dinner for her, but she wanted to cook dinner together, and she's the birthday girl, so that's what we did. We made up some perch with fresh squeezed lemon juice and herbs from her garden, some couscous and some cupcakes.

Lily read the cupcake box, and she was actually kind of helpful, and not even in the little kid way where you tell a kid that she was helpful because she was trying to help, but in an actual, legitimate fashion, where she gave us the ingredients, which were pictured on the box, (two eggs, three tablespoons of oil and half a cup of water) and then she told us what temperature the oven should be at. "Turn oven to three five oh." Go Lily!

I bought Jen a membership to the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, and a pair of headphones. We're hoping to go to Florida this fall, so we're mostly asking for money to put towards that, so that's mostly what she got from everyone else. Lily signed the card. She can write her name in these big block letters, and that's what she did.

I told Lily that we'd hopefully see Mister Tim again at the Pumpkinfest up in New Hamster. She told me she hoped that he'd have a Halloween Wedding with Grammy Kathy.

Work is okay. I walk past our three summer interns on my way back from the kitchen, and as I approach each computer, I see the screen flick away from Facebook/gmail/a fantasy football site.

Lily came out of the bathroom the other day holding a paperback that had been sitting on a shelf. "Daddy, don't judge this book."

I blinked and said, "Um, what?"

"You don't judge a book by its cover." (Actually, the book in question was Zelazny's "The Dead Man's Brother," and it would have been fine to judge that particular book by its cover, because the image is a pretty accurate depiction of what you can expect.) "Oh, okay."

She learned the phrase from her Strawberry Shortcake video, and she's taking it very literally. She doesn't yet understand that it has meaning beyond books. She said "Don't judge a book by its cover. Don't judge a person by the way she looks," but she's saying that like they're distinctly separate things. Ah, well, she's young. We'll soon have her crafting clever similes just like the fat girl waving her trophy at the smell fair!

While I was checking the proper spelling of "kōan" yesterday, I came across this an awesome website and a passage from the wikipedia entry and it struck me how it mirrors what I feel about Lily's education.

Appropriate responses to a kōan vary, since different teachers may demand different responses to a given kōan, and the answers may vary by circumstance. One of the most common recorded comments by a teacher on a disciple's answer is: "Even though that is true, if you do not know it yourself, it does you no good." The master is not looking for a specific answer but for evidence that the disciple has grasped the state of mind expressed by the kōan itself.

Yeah, yeah, it's a cliche to say that it's the journey and not the destination that matters, but I'm not even sure that what she does the journey itself matters either. The important thing is that she takes it.

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