In my dream it was a rainy day… Everywhere.
Not that we had noticed in San Francisco, it was often times grey this time of year, but the clouds covered everything.
I was outside, on a corner somewhere in the mission, when a beam of light broke through the clouds. It was like the curtains on a lazy Sunday morning. Behind the clouds was Buddha, giant and radiating light through the cracks in the clouds. He’s legs were crossed and he had the smile on his face of someone who is ultimately content, like he just eaten the perfect size burrito (not too much, not too little).
He was visible to everyone, everywhere, and when he spoke everyone could understand.
“Uh, hi… Hey, I don’t want to trouble you guys. I just wanted to thank you for all the offerings you’ve left for me, but I just really felt that I should let you know I don’t really like rice. Again, thanks, but I’ve just never liked it all that much. The fruit and stuff is good, and you know whatever.. I’m not trying to be picky, I’ve just never really cared for the stuff. I mean, if you have to leave rice, would it kill you to cook it first or something. Perhaps some seasoning. Butter, soy sauce, salt or something. Okay, so yeah, again thanks, but I’ve got more than enough rice.”
After some 2500 years, the Buddha had returned and his only godly words where about statues and rice. Needless to say, the result was mixed.
It sort of felt like the split between Judaism and Christianity, there were the Reformist Buddhists who would leave delicious treats such as Nestle Crunch bars and Pumpkin Ice Cream. And there where the ultra orthodox who felt this apparition was a hoax, perhaps a conspiracy orchestrated by the Atkins Center. Not only did they still leave rice at the foot of statues, but it was not uncommon to see an entire Buddha statue made of rice in the home of an ultra-orthodox Buddhist.
As for the rest of us, the world seemed unchanged after the return of Buddha. There were people like me who simply made a mental note not to bring any rice if I was going to a Buddhist temple and thought nothing else of it.
Wars still happened, diseases came and went, we were still at the height of progress or at the low point of civilization, depending on whom you asked.
Oddly enough, the return of Buddha had no effect at all on the world’s sales of rice. For every person not buying rice, there was someone buying twice as much. For every farm that decided to grow one less acre of rice crop, there was another farmer increasing his rice growing.
In the end, everything was just as well balanced as before.