Thursday, July 11, 2013

How are you?

How are you?
She asked.

I was startled. I'd been
thinking of more stuff
than one should,
but not that.

Should I let the other
stuff go and dig deep
into the recesses of
my mind,
ascertaining how I am,
or simply say,
just fine, 
and you?

I told her I made an
art piece about that
once. I went to a
Jewish deli with my
aunt and her friends
and someone asked
someone how are
you and I expected
a fine and you? and
instead got a G_d
awful litany of ills,
the like of which
I had not heard of,
that is, not in or from
one person.

Now when I hear those
friendly empathetic sympathetic
words, the litany returns and I
just want to hide my head,
returning to peaceful
mindless discriminating
meanderings.

How am I?

I'm just fine,
and you?

Note one: When my wife left today, I was going through the garbage container outdoors, looking desperately for my favorite scissors that I had last night ... and that I've had for over 20 years. I had thrown in a tub of queso that wouldn't go down the sink—it was so thick and nasty. It was all over my hands. She asked how I was and I said "Terrible. I lost my scissors." 

They are my muse. I even went to order a new pair ... and then looked once more where they were supposed to be ... and they were there. Yea!!!!!

Note two: "Whenever someone asked a certain Zen master how he was, he would always answer 'I'm okay.' Finally one of his students said, 'Roshi, how can you always be okay? Don't you ever have a bad day?' The Zen Master answered, 'Sure I do. On bad days, I'm okay. On good days, I'm okay.'"

Note three: Here's the piece I did in 1984. The text says, "How are you? Well, about 6 months ago I fell down and was unconscious for three wks. and then my brain started bleeding and they started to feed me interveniously[sic] and they had to do 9 brain scans and I don't look so bad now, do I?" The innocent "How are you?" (Click on image to enlarge.)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its fun seeing some Mosley vintage art, I get a chance to see continuity and experience your growth simultaneously. H.

Lee Boeke Burke said...

I loved this piece...I have contemplated on the "How are you?" interaction many a time too. Haven't come up with a pat answer...or non-answer.