The Buddha remembers Miss Sifora Fang,

his third grade teacher from years ago: diminutive
terror of the daily twenty-item spelling quiz, bespectacled,
hair pulled always into a severe chignon— How she parsed

sentences across three panels of chalkboard, lectured on
the solidity of nouns and verbs and the relative shiftiness
of adverbs. Therefore, when he reads the half-leafed-out lilac
seems to glow, achingly green against the brown woods,

his mind begins to revise: is it achingly, the half-leafed out lilac
seems to glow green
, or is it the half-leafed out lilac seems
to glow a painful shade of green
? He suspects that Miss Sifora Fang
would not approve. Likely, she would interrogate the very lilac

by the garden gate as to its blushing intentions, and certainly
the speaker as to why the sight of light striking the undersides
of leaves should stir a wound. Once, she sternly asked
the Buddha: Why are you crying? as he struggled to find

the right words for a difficult lesson. To be precise
does not necessitate complication, except that it is so
difficult to pluck the right thoughts from the always moving
branch, and find the words to flesh out what it is they mean.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

6 Comments


  1. I use adverbs so seldom in my writing, it feels positively liberating when I do! I never had a Miss Fang, though. Or perhaps I am my own Miss Fang.

    Reply

  2. gosh i would really like to add the last lines:

    “the right words for a difficult lesson. To be precise
    does not necessitate complication, except that it is so
    difficult to pluck the right thoughts from the always moving
    branch, and find the words to flesh out what it is they mean.”

    to my collection of quotes on Noticing Nature and perhaps to use them on a Morning Trip! or perhaps yes to the personal quote collection and no to the Morning Trip??

    I’m going to have to contemplate this entire writing all darn day now :D It’s part of things coming up this morning. Right on time, it is.

    Reply

  3. Elisa, how cool that you have a collection of quotes … and what is your Morning Trip? Why can’t you do both? :)

    Reply

    1. YAY!!! Ok I’ll do both! The Morning Trip is something that I post over on Elisa’s Spot. I choose a quote that feels right to me and/or that has meaning or a message for me, or something I’d like to communicate to others with a chosen video that goes with it. Sometimes the video is for the energy of the sound, other times the lyrics are important, fewer times, the scenery is what is relevant.

      Reply

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