My neighbor Jay suggested I share this story with you. Well, we can all use a laugh.
Years ago, I embarked on an intensive training regime with the bokken, the wooden sword. My workouts were long and grueling. And once upon a winter night, with deep snow on the ground, and the air as cold as anyone could wish, I was outside on the sidewalk, plying my sword.
It was hard work, and it made me hotter and hotter. So first I took off my jacket. Then my shirt. And finally my T-shirt.
As I continued, someone pulled up to the curb and stopped, probably waiting to pick up someone else. As he waited, he played real loud crummy awful stupid music. It shot my concentration. But rather than abort my session, I walked up to the car and tapped on the door with my bokken.
“Excuse me, sir, but could you turn the music down a bit?”
The guy stared at me goggle-eyed. Stammered, “Sure, man, sure! Anything you say, man!” And he turned off the music and drove away. Fast.
Well, he didn’t have to go that far, I thought, as I walked back up the sidewalk. And then I saw my shadow.
My hair was all over the place, and there was a ton of steam coming off my body. That’s what the guy in the car saw–not forgetting that I had a sword in my hand. Heck, I only saw the shadow, and it gave me a turn. The guy’s sitting there in his car on a winter night, and out of the snow comes this steaming apparition with a sword. Adios, muchacho.
If we could see ourselves as other see us…