Like all college sophomores, I spent my fair share of hours reading Zen koans and trying to figure them out. Some of them were laugh out loud funny, some of them confused the heck out of me, and some of them were things to chew on… like, if I could understand this, I could understand everything.
As a sophomore, I couldn’t really tell the difference between “profound” and “I’m a college sophomore and this is profound”, of course. Sadly, I’m still not in a place where I can tell the difference between those two things. But, with that said, I am 43 and this is profound: The King and the Sea: 21 Extremely Short Stories. It’s a collection of little vignettes where a little king has a little conversation with something in his domain. The first story is the eponymous one:
“I am the king!” said the king.
The sea answered with a whoosh.
“Hmm.” The king cocked his head thoughtfully.
“I see,” he murmured.
And he stood there quietly, listening to the waves.
There are 20 more of those, including conversations with a cat, a shadow, rain, a ghost (that one is my favorite), and all sorts of entities. Some of them are laugh out loud funny. Some of them will confuse you. A couple of them will get stuck in your head and you’ll be chewing on them for a while.
Appropriate to read before bedtime with a little one, appropriate to leave on your bedstand to read before you fall asleep. And, if it ain’t to your taste, I’m sure there’s a college sophomore going to be on Winter Break who will totally love to get it and take it back with them to college.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?
(Featured Image is “Edison’s Telephonoscope” by George du Maurier from Punch Almanack for 1879)