Lotus

— Children books are to the right on the second floor and over here is the fiction… – The lady is enthusiastically explaining the sections of the bookstore to Zack.

Zack nods and thanks her with subtle smile. 

Shortly after, he is seating on a soft coach with bunch of books in front of him. 

— Why are we categorizing? Why all these concepts of what should be read to children and what should not be?… Why classify into horror, detectives, fiction, non-fiction?.. Why we always classify and arrange? How can we be sure of categories?.. Isn’t it weird and so much unnatural to draw the lines between physics, biology, chemistry, love, children, self-help, non-fiction, sex education, erotic reading, foreign authors, geography, history, – all the crazy myriad of categories, cliches…

Zack is thinking, looking at the book in front of him.

— How are we so sure what is important for what? What to read to kids, and what not; why have we invented the taboos and not mentioning certain things to kids, for example? What are we keeping them away from? Why shouldn’t they be free to see, hear, read and experience whatever their minds are telling them is interesting?.. I wish I had talked with Nick about crime, sex, evil, lies, all the things out there – good things and bad things… Isn’t it even more dangerous to raise a naive child, then the one who is aware of perils and is somehow more prepared?.. Why did we end up with such censorship for our kids? Is it at all wise?.. Is it not the same as putting constraints on someone without his or her consent – such as nationality, religious preferences, gender identity, sexual orientation, food preferences and so on… What can be worse then restriction and obligation as if we know better?!. Why we chose this path?.. Why we opted out from freedom for everyone, including kids to do what they wish to do!..

— Lotus, Nelumbo Nucifera, nature and spirit meeting each other in the dark water of the pond, – Zack is looking at The Lotus World, painting from the 18th century India depicting Radha and Krishna. His mind is back to his previous thoughts…

— If something as beautiful and different comes from murky waters of the bog then why are we afraid of our children becoming evil or traumatized by the exposure to the real world?.. Didn’t that endeavor fail when Buddha finally saw the pain and suffering? – all that his father was trying to hide from him… It failed thousands of years ago, it failed ever since then, yet, now the society is just like that father… With education just as evil – cutting the pieces off the real world, like a butcher handling a meat loaf… Aren’t then the educators and those who set these categories the true evil, the true enemies for the psyche?.. The psyche that is thriving to discover where the bogs are in the forest and to be aware of the different sides one can look at the world – a murky water, dangerous bog, muddy field, shining lotus flower, – the unique angles we see the world!.. Our worlds…

— I will tell Nick everything, all the thoughts, fears, good and bad sides and I will tell him that he will have to choose his sides – where to stand, what is good and bad for him… The rest are all cliches, rules, the attempt to somehow direct the stem to the direction we, adults, majority, rulers, minorities in charge, generations, scared people, greedy people, evil people, sometimes all the kind people too – all we prefer!..

Zack sighs. He thinks of lotuses in the murky water. He now sees Nick sitting on one of the lotuses, – sitting eyes closed, all naked, – meditating?.. Thinking?.. Trying to understand what’s going on with him? Trying to find his sides of good and bad?.. Trying… Alone…

— I’m with you, – Zack hears a subtle whisper in his ear. He turns. He is no longer in the bookstore. He is in the dark forest. He himself is sitting naked, alone in the murky water on a huge lotus.

— Who was that? Where am I? – Zack closes his eyes. He knows the answers are not out there… He needs to go deeper into himself…