short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Your Mouth Blew, and Your Hands Tied

There once was a town that was divided by a wide and deep river. On one side of the river sat a man with a box full of goat skins next to him. This man was an expert at blowing the goat skin and tying it in such a way that it became a perfect float that one could hold onto in swimming from one side of the river to the other. The man was known as the "skin blower," and he would charge a nominal fee for his expertise in blowing and tying.

For those who were better-off, there were small boats available to take them to the other side.

A very stingy and conceited man once wanted to cross the river. Boats, of course, were out of the question since they were far too expensive for his taste, but even the nominal fee which the skin blower charged seemed too high for him.

"Just lend me one of your goat skins, and I will take care of blowing it and tying it," he argued over and over again.

"But it has taken me years of practice to know when to stop blowing and how exactly the skin should be tied," the skin blower answered.

No matter, it was hopeless. The man was too stingy and too conceited to be convinced by the skin blower's words. Finally, the skin blower said, "All right, I will let you borrow one of my skins for free, but you are responsible for the consequences."

"Consequences? What consequences? Saving my precious, hard earned money?" the man whispered to himself as he proceeded to blow the skin and tie it.

However, no sooner had he jumped into the water than the skin began to lose air. The man did not notice at first, but by the time he reached the middle of the river, where the current was at its strongest point, the skin had lost most of its air, and the man, who did not know how to swim, began screaming, "Skin blower, skin blower, the skin you gave me is no good. Come quickly, and help me!"

When the skin blower heard the frantic screams of the man, he stood up and shouted back, "It was your mouth that blew, and your hands that tied!"

The above story is excerpted from a book, Metaphors of Islamic Humanism, by my dear friend, Dr. Omar Imady, copyright 2005.

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About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.