You ever have one of those moments where something suddenly jumps into your brain and it's something you haven't thought of in years and didn't even realize it was lodged somewhere in your brain just waiting to be shaken free by some seemingly random phrase or event? Of course you have. Who hasn't? The brain is a mysterious organ. Most people only use 10% of there brain. Did you know that? Of course you did. Did you notice I misused "there" earlier? You didn't? 10%.
Talking with my wife. Earlier. She works with children in the teaching capacity. She was talking about using sensory type tools and projects to further the children's learning. Suddenly my mind lept (Firefox auto-spell correction tells me "lept" is not a word. I insist it is, but I will not research this; rather I simply remain confident in its validity) to the 7th grade overnight field trip to Toronto I took with my school in 7th grade. It's the same trip where I lost (or was pick pocketed) my wallet I had acquired from my recently deceased grandfather. It's the same trip where I saw a gorilla poop in his hand, eat some of his own poop, vomit into the same hand, then eat some of the vomit. It's the same trip where me and Ryan M. chickened out and did not ride the Jet Scream at Canada's Wonderland amusement park. It's the same trip where we went to The Organ Grinder; a huge restaurant that I just now realized was like a Dave and Busters for early teen kids (or an amped up Chuck E. Cheese; Showtime Pizza if your nasty) in which a man played a mish-mash of all the recent pop song hits on the giant pipe organ and it was loud and we were all very tired and hardly enjoyed it. I spent most of the time trying to find aspirin for a raging headache the pipe organ was not helping with, and I also lost my wallet there. About a decade later I found and purchased a shooter glass from The Organ Grinder at a random lawn sale.
So on this trip we also visited the Toronto Science Museum. This place was huge and fun. There were Tibetan monks there. They were making a Mandala Sand Painting. A huge one. These things are intricate and beautiful and sacred and, at least in this case, huge. In cae you're to lazy or busy to click on the previously provided link, here is a pic:
They take a long time (days, weeks, and beyond) to create. The monks were creating one using the guests of the museum. So you could wait in line and, when your turn arose, take the Mandala Sand Painting tool and add just a very small bit to the whole painting. We knew this was going to be happening at the museum too. Our teachers told us all about it and we learned how sacred and wonderful the whole process was. I waited in line. My turn came. Bliss and eagerness filled my body.
The nearest monk handed me the creation tool. It was in two parts. The part holding the sand was a tapered clay tube. It looked like a Bugle (the snack, not the instrument). The other part was a simple clay rod. Rub the clay rod against the clay Bugle agitating it causing some sand to come out and add to the painting. I was excited. I was really excited. The monk handed me the tools. I sat down in the provided chair. I thought what exactly I wanted to add to the painting. I promptly tipped the Bugle part the wrong way and dump a full load of sand into my crotch. My friends waiting in line laughed. Some strangers around us laughed. The monks laughed.
I was embarrassed. I felt bad. I knew that Mandala Sand Painting was a pretty big deal, and this was kind of a once in a lifetime deal to be able to help create one of these paintings. So I did feel bad and I was embarrassed. But the monks laughed, and that made things so much better. I remember standing up and brushing all the sand off of my pants. And after the embarrassment wore down I realized that I am probably one of the very few people in the world that made the Tibetan monks laugh. A true and genuine in the moment laugh. I actually was pretty happy about the incident after that. Laughter is the best medicine truth in comedy blah blah blah blah. It was a wonderful moment, plain and simple.
I also once stole a pair of underwear from my AP History teacher, but that's another story for another day.