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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Crossing the Finish Line with an Indian Monkey

You know.....when I was chained to that oven for 20 years, I used to spend your sleeping hours fantasizing about becoming emancipated and landing a standard 9-5 like a lot of you.

What's that saying....be careful what you wish for?

For the last few years I have sat behind a desk and taken on administrative responsibilities at the bakery, and yes.....most of the times I do like it.

When you run an oven...it's "Man VS Self". Each night your task lies before you, and either you accomplish it or you don't. Sure, July can be a drag, every time you open those oven doors.....a freaking dragon breathes on you with a heat blast that most people thankfully can't imagine.

But, if you can endure a little physical pain, better that than the incessant drip-drip-dripping that will barrage a desk jockey each day via the whining,lies and rumors that they will be subjected to them by a percentage of people that will cross their path.

Now Klecko's not alluding that most people or problematic, but how many pebbles do you need in your shoe to cause you discomfort on a days journey.

The first thing that my original Bread Master / Dick Kiwus taught me was that no matter how many problems you extinguished throughout the day, there were more just around the corner.

I've talked with several people who have worn both the blue and the white collar, and most of them agree that their life was more balanced when they were breaking stones instead of negotiating and cutting deals.

Sometimes when I talk with the Polish Christ I admit that I find hard to believe that my career or my life actually has a finish line......

But the cool thing about having a Christ that's a Pollack is sometimes he'll insert a memory into your simple mind, a memory like.......

When I was in 1st grade, Miss McDermitt set up a daily reading time where we would all sit in a semi circle on hard chairs that hurt your a**, and she would read to us from that book called Charlotte's Web.

Reading was a new concept to me. In the house where I grew up, my mother didn't read to us. Instead she would come into the room that I shared with my sister and put a Bob Dylan record onto our "Close and Play" phonograph, and we would rock back and forth singing until we fell asleep.

But this reading thing was cool. Books seemed to have targets of thought that were more concrete. When you are 5 and placed into a world that is subjective, finding answers can be a little more difficult.

After close to 50 years, I still don't know who the Tambourine Man is?

In this book Charlotte's web, everything was pretty much spelled out. The plot was basically revolving around the relationships between a young girl, pig and spider.

Wilbur was awesome.

But when you are 5, one disadvantage is that you have no sense of timing. I remember getting ready for my daily hit of literature and Miss McDermitt got this awkward look on her face.....

"I'm sorry Danny, today is the last day of school. I wish we had time to finish the story, but maybe you can read it at home this summer."

Yeah, and maybe I can go to summer camp with Jane Goodall.

W/O dragging this thing out, my second grade teacher, and my third grade teacher both pulled the exact same stunt, I swear to Caesar.

It's funny that I remember so little about my formative education, that is other than the fact that the first 1/2 of my elementary schooling was given to me by women who had no time management skills.

But in 4th grade I got Mrs Braun as a teacher. A lot of the kids didn't like her because she was kinda uptight (Probably a Lutheran.) I remember when we had a tornado drill at school and my class room was assigned to go into the girls bathroom, a kid named Ken Bailing (He failed the scoliosis exam each year) pointed to the Kotex machine on the wall and asked what it was.

Mrs Braun answered straight faced and said it was a "Girls Pinball Machine" but boys weren't allowed to play. some of the girls giggled, but us boys just furrowed our brows and realized this was a topic for another time.

Unlike my 1st-2nd and 3rd grade teachers, Mrs Braun started reading Charlotte's Web at the beginning of the year. Within 5 or 6 weeks we were done. Not only did I finally get some closure on a ending that had eluded me for far too long, but my class was also fortunate enough to read Song of the South and Old Yeller as well.

The moral is that sometimes a necessary task can sit at hand, but its finish is never-ever-ever determined by fate. It's conclusion rests in the organizational mind and the willful hands of the person who employees it cause.

Everything you do in your life rests under that umbrella, and if you believe like I do, that the human species is somewhat flawed, that the flesh body is kinda corrupt and by nature you will be pulled to pleasure than conflict or toil.....

How can one stay committed to their spiritual-family or career bound course?

Being on Team Jesus, most of my Born Again or Catholic friends tell me to set my eyes on Jesus, but I have to be honest....I don't.

I love Jesus, but Jesus is God (in my eyes), and I'm not going to attempt that because it impossible, I need a more practical influence.....

OK, this is where I might get in trouble, but oh well....the Christ from Warsaw totally gets it, I know he does....he told me LOL.

After all, I am imperfect, I don't want to be God, I just want to bake for God.

Around 25 years ago, my mother sold the house I grew up in, and everything else and moved to India. she was off on a spiritual Haj.

She didn't just sell her house, she sold all of her possessions and went off to pursue truth.

All of her friends and the rest of my family encouraged her, but I was kinda pissed because I didn't want my mother to end up the the Prodigals son, but she went to India and traveled extensively.

She ended up living in a small village and worked with the textile people by bringing their products back to America, selling them and giving the money to the villagers.

Knowing that her son has always been obsessed with monkeys and all things primate, my mom would take photo's of multi monkey species that would hang out at Hindu temples or in the busy cities as well.

But the coolest gift she gave me was actually a comic book about a monkey named Hanuman.

If you are not familiar with the Hindu faith (and I am not saying I am)there are tons of different Gods.

Hanuman isn't basically one of the few Hindu focal points that isn't a deity, I guess in my eyes he symbolizes all of us. People who are trying to find ways to serve their God.

The coolest story in the comic book was when some completely bad a** sea creature appeared in the ocean. This monster was messing things up for the people on the planet, and the God's were tired of hearing all the people whining.

So just like corporate America, a board meeting was called. All the
Gods argued as to how the threat would be contained, who was going to do it, so on and so forth.

The God's sat in their boardroom longer than the NFL owners during strike talks.

The problem continues, and there was no resolution in sight.

Then this simple monkey named Hanuman felt a sadness in his heart. He could not figure out why the Gods couldn't reach an agreement, but instead of complaining, or standing outside some liberal college in Calcutta holding a "Slay the Beast" sign over his head, the monkey grabbed a knife and walked straight into the water.

He swam for a real long time and then when he saw this monolithic creature, he just paddled his little monkey paws that much quicker, sidled up next to the demon and slit it's throat.

Meanwhile on cloud #9 the God's were having cocktails and catered food, I'm guessing they forgot the reason why they had been summoned and where probably discussing time shares in Bombay.

"BOOM" the door is kicked open and this wonderful little monkey rolls the serpents head across the floor.

From that moment on.....negotiations were suspended.

Now before I proceed, let me express to my Indian friends that I know I have painted a few new colors into this story, but it is meant not out of mere respect, but reverence as well.

Who would have thunk? an Indian comic book starring a monkey could make me live my life in a completely different accord?

The thing that is so charming about Hanuman is that he is a monkey, and I think we can all pretty much agree that in any culture, a monkey denotes "Smart A**."

But this little rascal understood something so primary that even the Gods forgot about it....Actions solve problems, not negotiations.

In my own life, in my own attempt to make the Polish Jesus like me better, I'll be honest, I mostly focus on actions.

Now the Born Again's and Catholics can get a little chippy with me on this.

"Klecko.....you are being blasphemes, we are saved by grace! Actions can't get you to heaven!"

But to be honest, even though preachers tell me that salvation can be easy, it can be guaranteed, just pray this prayer and you will be saved.

I don't even want to hear those words out of a single humans mouth.

It's not their gift to give, so I want to be focused on the one thing I can control, how I live my life. Will I be a taker or a giver.

On the wall in my living room, right next to my humongous plasma television is an icon.

I look at it every morning and every night.

It is a picture of this noble monkey Hanuman hugging some blue-floaty kind of God. And Hanuman's eyes are closed, he's resting, you can tell he's at peace.

And the blue-floaty God has a look of pride that is unprecedented.

I don't know when the Klecko story will be over, but I sure hope I can stay the course, I sure hope that while the world destroys it's self that I can remain loyal to my family and all of you.

It is my dream that one day my and the Polish Christ can share an embrace in the truest Hanuman fashion.

Mad Love to all my peeps in India.

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