Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Buddha and the Bread Factory


Last night Klecko sat in silence.

Last night Klecko sat in the oversized chair that looked like it should be occupied by somebody old (who used to be famous) on some BBC or PBS special.

Tick-Tock...............................Tick -Tock.

Last night Klecko was determined to see if he could conquer the impoosible, could he spend an hour in silence.

The rules of this (game?) or new life style is that you can't utilize tv's, radio's, computers or phones.

And.....you have to sit in a chair.

Also eventhough the goal is to endure one hour, you can't look at the clock or that would be considered cheating.

If solitude is the vibe you're trying to bite on, how lame would it be to keep goose necking at a clock so your brain could scream out to your body.....

"Only 8 minutes left, hurry up and get ready!"

For the first portion I held a clipboard and prepared to work on my "Year of the Rabbit" album, but before the pen ever touched paper, I noticed Gracie, P-Nut, Romeo and Deedle - Deedle congregated in a tight pack.

All off them stared upward at me with a look of bemusement.

I had to laugh, because over the last 10 years, I guess I've kept my mutts surrounds by lights-camera-action.

They were a different shade of Pavlov and didn't know what to think.

My opening line for track #2 was........

I know what its like to be God -
Because I know what its like to be lonely -

And then I began to laugh to myself, because in my minds eye I could see Kim Ode recoiling at the fact that Klecko would dare to equate himself to God.

People forget though, well I'll preface that by saying...people who believe in the Bible forget that it says that God was an artist, God made landscapes that were award winning. God was self actualized and cool as all get out........

But God was lonely, lonely enough that God decided hanging out, or observing flawwed creatures such as myself might be more intresting than merely sitting alone in God Glory, with God Wisdom, in God's slendor.

After a little while I set my clip board down, and proceeded to pick up a torn up copy of Kerouac's "Dharma Bums."

Jack certainly was a lot of things, but if you ever take a couple minutes to scan over his musings, it won't take long before you realize that he has a real "Thing" for Buddha and that whole eastern point of view.

So as I jumped back into the story, Kerouac was hanging out with this little Asian man whose name was Japhy.

The two of them had parked their truck at ground zero and were preparing to hike up all kinds of terrain, hoping that eventually they'd end up on top of a mountain.

Japhy had copleted this adventure several times in his life, but for Jack....this was his first excursion.

The adventure would take days under the best of circumstances.

On day #1 both of these guys had a bounce in their step and passed time by reciting haiku's pertaining to insperational sights that they had witnessed.

When Kerouac writes about this journey, you can almost feel the flames of passion passing from the words on the page into your finget tips.

But after several days Jack and Japhy went passed a number of plateau's and were in an area which was described as....."Higher Ground."

I am fearful of treading on sacrilege, but let me loosely paraphrase how Kerouac described this moment to those of us who have taken the time to flip through his thoughts........

"As Japhy and I made our way to the higher ground, I found it intresting how things changeded. The two of us walked like Billy Goats, navigating ourselves upward over piles of boulders.

The most intresting thing about being at this altitude is that words almost seemed useless.

We no longer felt it nessasary to speak in order to communicate.

The higher you raise yourself in altitude, the more you find yourself relying on telepathy."

O-M-G...LOL, I just experienced "Writers Fushion with Jack Kerouac."

At this point I replaced my book marker and simply stared into the blinding lights strewn with purpose across Sue McGleno's Christmas tree.

Then I sat back and felt a sense of clarity that has been absent from my life for a long time.

A clarity that I valued, and now miss.

I totally got what he was saying about finding places in life where words are good for nothing. In fact....sometimes they'll only serve as stumbling blocks.

My mind took an aerial view of my past and seemed to start making wide vulture circles around Friday evening bakes when I was an Oven Captain.

Fridays are w/o a doubt the busiest time of the wholesale bakers work week, and the early evening is when pressure mounts to its maximum.

The funny thing is though, that this is the time of the week when people bit** the least and work the hardest.

Mistakes are almost never made during this period because the entire crew locks down on a collective focus.

Oh what a dance it is to participate with a dozen other guys who are mixing, forming, proofing, baking and finally packaging 15 tons of dough in one shift.

This is almost always done in complete silence.

As if an energy, or ghost consumes the collective only to steer their deeds with wind and thought.

This is almost always done in a spirit of reverance.

The satisfaction those moments gave me were better than sex or drugs.

So for a few more seconds I tried to digest a feeling that more than likely will elude me in my future....but one never knows huh?

Eventually I looked up, my "Session of Silence" had exceeded 96 minutes.

So as you can imagine...LOL, the first thing I did when it was completed was turned on my Droid, dialed Mike Finley and reported to him what I read about Kerouac and his completive friend.

"I gotta tell you Mike, I totally get what Jack was saying when he mentioned how when you find your groove, words are no longer neccessary, and I gotta tell ya....that's a great place to be."

Like all good mentors, Finley didn't respond too quick.....he just kinda paused, considered my ephiphany with the same attention that he might apply to a coupon or sheet of TV listings and informed me in his most matter of fact tone..........

"It's the ONLY place to be."

But I think often times people (ecspecially me) view lonli


  1. Wow, I got to be Yoda in a wisdom story! This is surely the acme heretofore.

    I recognized that you were in a tender place when you called, and I tried to get with it.

    I am a poor meditater myself ... the mind craves the toybox ... but I have great respect for the silence that overtakes us when we are busy being our true selves.

    I have been in that flow state when working with others ... suddenly your heart feels like an engine running on the energy of the moment ... I felt it waiting on tables at an outdoor banquet once, rushing back and forth with baked potatoes and butter ...

    I had that mountaintop experience with Rachel last spring ... we look at each other almost sadly, the quiet and beauty were so perfect ... I remember poking a stone with a stick, sitting on my butt, on Mt. Frasier ... it was OK

    Sometimes the silence is quite noisy!

  2. O yeah; working in unison! I'm a sucker for things that "flow"

    I never had the privilege to bake in unison, but the same rule applies to many crafts, I guess, and more!

    Your story reminds me of when I was working in Cotonou, Benin, Africa. In the morning rush hour, on the back of a moped, we would have to navigate this intimidating crossroads without traffic lights. The first two days were scary as hell, for I didn't know how it worked. Then I found out...it didn't "work", it just "happened".

    Instead of squinting to see the light go green, I was tuning in with all around me, as all around me was tuning in with me. And lo and behold, without any one taking any decisions, there would be a point where we started moving as a group...

    So where is the tipping point, where one group of 350 mopeds start to move, and the other 350 decide to stop, to give way? I honestly couldn't tell you, but in the three weeks I was there, I never saw it go wrong.

    No one discussed whether it was time or not, as if they could be heard over the roar of 700 mopeds anyway...

    What was I; a herd? a Borg in a hyve, abducted by aliens, on a matrix shortcut? I guess I will never really understand what I tapped into there.

    Ever since, when things go really well at work, like you describe, the memory of crossing that Cotonou road pops up. Like it did just now.

    Thank you for that. It always feels good when it pops up


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  4. Lovely, and inspiring. Congrats on your epiphany. The beauty of working as one, telepathically, reminded me of this video of a murmuration of starlings. It's stunning. Enjoy:

  5. Mike, I hate to crash a serious moment...but was that the banquet where you saw Phyllis Diller naked?

    Breadlab, that may be one of the coolest posts that have ever been tossed into the L.A.B. warehouse....thanks.

    Ode, breathtaking sells that video short.