My personal quest for inspiration, the temptations of idolatry, and eating all your vegetables

Earlier this year, in a sort of New Year’s Resolution, I formally swore off all contact – social, spiritual, or IMG_1169otherwise – with anyone who was a cement animal structure. After nearly a year of dependence, indeed an addiction to cement elephants (see Cement Animal Sculpture Compendium), I finally realized that I would never obtain any sort of wisdom or spiritual guidance from beings or entities that were made of cement.

It was embarrassing. After all, here I was a fully-grown (OK, I was old) and well-educated (OK, I watch public television sometimes) man, and there I was cavorting and consulting with cement elephants for spiritual guidance. It was a pitiful waste of time to seek inspiration from these lifeless, inert, brainless, and soul-less pachyderms. “Enough!” I said at last. I needed to find my inspiration elsewhere, to obtain my wisdom from more reliable sources. It was time for me to turn to one of the great religious doctrines: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism…..

However, what I did was to consult a paper-mache giraffe on La Brea Blvd.. “Oh, great and long-necked, and so dandily painted giraffe, what can you tell me about the meaning of life?”

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The what? The meaning of life.? Gee whiz, I mean that’s kinda,…..I mean I never, you know….Gee, I never thought about that. Er.. what was your question again?

OK. Perhaps I expected  too much . After all the poor giraffe was made from paper mache. But my thirst for spiritual knowledge spurred me on. I pursued my quest to the highest court, as it were. I consulted the king of the beasts, the noble and sagagious lion.

“Oh, great lion. Oh great one! Can you tell me the meaning of life.? Can you provide me with inspiration to go on living and blogging too?

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Yes, but it’ll cost you 5 dollars.

Sounded fishy, but I paid the 5 dollars. The wise and great lion responded:

 A fool and his money are soon parted. Thanks for the 5 bucks!
A fool and his money are soon parted. Thanks for the 5 bucks!

That’s it? That’s the great piece of wisdom?

What did you expect for 5 bucks?
What did you expect for 5 bucks?

Devastated and woefully disappointed by this impudent oracle, I marched on. My quest for knowledge took me over three continents and several incontinents. Finally after years of travail, I realized that I had come full circle. Yes! I returned to the cement elephants. “Oh, great, wise cement elephant! Oh Franklin! Oh great one, I have returned to you to obtain spiritual wisdom. Tell me, oh magnificent pachydermal pillar, what great piece of knowledge can you bestow upon me to help me on my way?”

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No problemo. The main thing is to be sure to eat a lot of fresh greens and vegetables.

“That’s it? That’s all? I can’t believe that the highest piece of wisdom that you can impart is…..

Well, what did you expect from a lifeless, brainless, cement animal sculpture after all? Besides, green vegetables are an excellent source of magnesium and other valuable vitamins and minerals.
Well, what did you expect from a lifeless, brainless, cement animal sculpture after all? Besides, green vegetables are an excellent source of magnesium and many other important vitamins and minerals.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7 thoughts on “My personal quest for inspiration, the temptations of idolatry, and eating all your vegetables

  1. It’s amazing how popular the woolly mammoths are all over the world… people have them on their list of things to see in LA… and I always enjoy taking people there to show them the “real” Los Angeles from 50,000 years ago! It is kind of a sad scene when you think about what is going on…. but even sadder last year when mama mammoth was missing for a while as she floated away from her anchor and had to be repaired… they all had their fiberglass bodies patched and renewed and are really looking their best now. Always one of my favorite places to go, even on my own! And if you listen carefully, they do impart astounding wisdom… (Oh, and I love that giraffe!)

    1. I’m glad to see that someone shares my feelings toward cement animal sculptures. Inspiration is to found everywhere. Yes, they re-did their wooly mammath inside the museum. Yes, it’s a great place.

  2. This spiritual odyssey beats all the others out there, for sheer drama and wisdom there is no better traveller of the mind and streets than you. I found the bit with the elephants felt a little…truncated though.

    1. You mean you wish it had been truncated! Yes, this spiritual traveler hopes to conclude this very dramatic cement elephant period of life. We all must move on.

  3. For some reason, Bumba, I am compelled by this post to pass on a bit of old Lao Tzu wisdom: ‘Hollowed out, clay makes a pot. Where the pot’s not is where it’s useful’ (Tao Te Ching trans. Ursula K Le Guin). Must be all this talk of cement, and terracotta lions.

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