Friday, June 3, 2011

Lenny Lee Fest: This One's Just for Lenny

This is for the coolest kid I know. It's not my place to throw Lenny's business up on the internet, but suffice to say that the bravest young man I know is struggling right now. He could use some love.

The best way to reach out to him is to just visit his blog, become a follower, and begin to interact with him. Lenny is a writer, and he wants to grow up to be an author, so he loves to learn from, and get to know, each and every one of us.

Here is something just for him, for the aptly titled Lenny Lee Fest:

The young man left his father's home at an early age. His father was a Brahmin, a religious leader in their village. But the young man wanted more, he had to seek truth, find another Way.

He left bearing only the robe on his back, and a satchel full of dates. He walked long. He ranged over hills of grey and brown and through valleys far and green.

The rains came. The rains went.

Still he strode across the lands of his country.

One day he came to a forest. It was deep and dark, but filled with strong trees and fragrant wild flowers. In the middle of the forest, their bodies ravaged by starvation, he met a sect of ascetics. They did not eat, they did not sleep, they did not speak.

They barely breathed.

These men sought truth through denial of the body, the senses, the physical realm of the world as perceived by others realities.

The young man joined them.

He sat, meditating, at the root of a fig tree, his mind wandering the astral planes, for so long his beard grew down onto his lap. His stomach shrank, receded back against his spine. His flesh devoured itself, leaving only bony knees, knobby elbows, and sharp blades of shoulder bones showing prominently through his waxy skin.

And yet he discovered nothing.

That life of denial steeled his consciousness toward truth seeking, but it revealed nothing of the Way.

The young man bowed goodbye to the ascetics, left the forest, and traveled to a city. There he gorged himself on wine, and food, and excess in the pleasure houses. He fell in love with a woman, and they met in orange grove each night. Her hair was oiled, and smelled of marigolds.

He found no answers in her arms.

He bought a bushel of rice, an ox, and a cart. He began to make his way home.

Halfway to his father's house he met a river. It was was not deep or wide, but it was too large to cross, so he sat down, and ate some rice. He sat and gazed at the river, watching as the water followed its current effortlessly.

He sat pondering the river until the ox wandered off with the cart. He did not notice. He watched the river, and considered its flow as he meditated.

Then a leaf came floating down. It balanced and spun lightly on top of the water. Its stem twirled happily as the river bore it down toward him, it passed his position, and then floated on into infinity.

It was in that moment that the young man discovered the Way. He knew he could not escape the suffering of the flesh in his lifetime, but he stood up, and carried his discoveries to the world anyway.

His name was Siddhārtha Gautama, and he was young no more.

NOTE: Please forgive the raw nature of this piece, as it is written off the top of my head, and has not been given the care of a keen editorial eye. Besides, it's not for you, it's for Lenny.

45 comments:

Matthew MacNish said...

This is just to clear the HTML out of the Facebook status.

Candyland said...

Ahhhhhhh I LOVE THIS!!!! So beautiful.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This is great, Matt.

At first I thought you were explaining Lenny's story, but I the part about the robe and dates threw me. Okay the first paragraph had me scratching my head too. ;)

Jessica Bell said...

This is awesome, Matt!!!

LTM said...

I'm not sure this is what you wanted me to read, but I love it anyway... It perfectly describes the peace I find when I go down to sit and watch the surf. What will I do now? :o|

I'm hoping Lenny's better very soon~ <3

Robyn Campbell said...

MacNish! It's fantastic! Keen editorial eye or not. I loved it and I KNOW Lenny will. And after all, it IS for him.

I'm feeling peace. Think I'll go ride one of my horses. (((hugs))) Love you MacNish. I love EVERYONE. It IS Lenny Day after all. :-)

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Yay for the Lenny Lee Love!

Lola Sharp said...

Love this piece, Matt. I'm all zen now. :)
Lenny will love it too.

Have a delicious, sunshiny weekend!
Hugs,
Lola

Jess said...

This is great, Matt. Lenny's the best!

Carrie said...

This is wonderful. What a wonderful story for Lenny. Thank you for posting this.

Emily White said...

Very nice! I'm sure Lenny will love it! :)

Christine Danek said...

This is wonderful. Lenny is a brave person. I wish I was as brave and kind hearted as him.

Michael G-G said...

Mother of the Forest forbid, (my new fave phrase) but this is brilliant. I'll read it to my kids as an introduction to Buddha.

Off to visit to Lenny to see if I can spread some cheer too.

Angela Ackerman said...

Great job, Matt. Love the style of the piece. And thanks to everyone for their visits to Lenny--I know he will appreciate it!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Bryce Daniels said...

I am relatively new to the blogging world, but already know this is one of the coolest things I'll ever come across in its confines.

Pure goodness from a purer heart.
Well done.

Lydia K said...

So beautiful. I wish I could give Lenny a real hug. What an amazing kid.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Beautiful, Matthew! A great post to honor Lenny. Just like the comments he leaves around the blog world, it's very insightful...

Sarah said...

Just beautiful, Matt. I completely agree with Sharon--a fitting tribute to Lenny!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Love it! And there's something about a man speaking to a boy through this piece that melts my heart. :)

Kelly said...

Wonderful piece!!!
Lenny will love it!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Really apt and beautiful piece. Lenny is in my prayers and its so great to see the love for him around the blogosphere. I had heard some 'news' a couple months back but hadn't realised things had taken a bad turn. I hope he's okay.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

It's PERFECT just as it is, Matt, and Lenny is going to love it! Great job. :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lenny will like that!

Old Kitty said...

Beautiful - took my breath away!!

Yay for Lenny!! He'll love this!! Take care
x

Talli Roland said...

Fantastic, Matt. I wish I'd known about the Lenny fest earlier - I'd have loved to participated and show him some support. What a fab young man he is.

Big yay for Lenny!

Hilary Wagner said...

Hooray for Lenny!

Awesome piece, Matt! I'm so excited for Lenny to read everyone's post! He is going to be VERY busy! :)

xoxo -- Hilary

Steve C said...

The writing is excellent 'cause it comes from the heart, to lift someone's spirits, just as every of Lenny's comments have always done for me.

Laura Marcella said...

Wonderful! I'm loving these sweet and thoughtful posts for Lenny. He and I share the same birthday. He certainly is a beaming ray of sunshine in the blogosphere!

Theresa Milstein said...

You don't need forgiving. I was absorbed. And I'm sure Lenny will be too.

Christina Lee said...

AWWW this so very special, as is, definitely!! Brought tears to my eyes!

Raquel Byrnes said...

Thanks for introducing me to Lenny. I also loved your piece above.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

M Pax said...

I loved Siddhartha and love your story as a result. Hesse is one of my favorite writers. Will go say hello to Lenny.

Lindsay said...

Aww, I loved that. So beautiful. I'm sure Lenny will love it ;)

Carolyn V said...

Amazing Matt! I bet Lenny will love this!

Connie Arnold said...

Wonderful story for Lenny!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Wonderful and wise ... and you caused me to Google Siddhartha to see if I knew who he was. (Almost ... I was barking up the wrong religion ...)

Len Lambert said...

Hi Matthew! I'm an old follower of your blog so it's so cool to see you visit mine! :) This is a very interesting piece for Lenny! My favourite part is this: "That life of denial steeled his consciousness toward truth seeking, but it revealed of the Way."

Susan Fields said...

What a wonderful post for a wonderful little guy!

Paul Joseph said...

I haven't read this yet. I'm going to, but the first part of your post already told me what I wanted to say. It doesn't matter what was created - the reason you created it says it all. You are a good soul, Matt. I have a deep appreciation for writers who connect with readers on this level - especially young readers. Perhaps I'm biased, but I believe writers are also educators and mentors. I respect what you did today.

Joe said...

This is beautiful. Nothing in excess, deeply felt, like the Buddha.

Melissa Sarno said...

Beautiful story, Matthew. Lenny will love it. Happy Lenny Lee day :-)

Joanne Brothwell said...

I love this. Great job, Matt.

Hollister Ann Grant said...

Beautiful. You touched my core. Love the statue, too.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Lovely story. Very zen :)

Donea Lee said...

Just lovely! Lenny Lee is indeed a wonderful kid!! Love that you dedicated a post to him ~ :)